Procession Banners 1918-2018
Materials: Various textiles, wood
Dimensions: 190 x 140cm each banner
Exhibition history: 2019 De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, UK; 2018 Ikon Gallery, Medicine Gallery & Bakery, Birmingham, UK; 2018 Processions Women's March, London, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta, commissioned by Historic England
This collaborative work co-created with a group of women in HMP Downview commemorates the 100-years of the Suffragette movement, and in memory of 1,000 suffragettes that were imprisoned at Holloway women’s prison during their struggle to obtain the vote. HMP Holloway in London was one of the most notorious sites associated with the Suffrage movement, it closed in 2016 and the women were transferred to HMP Downview. From January to June 2018, Lucy Orta led creative workshops inside the prison and the process fed into the creation of ten commemorative banners. To play hommage to the suffragettes, a centenary procession took place at the site of the former Holloway prison, followed by the women's mass-march Processions on June 10, 2018.
The design for the HMP Downview textile banners draws from historical perspectives on the suffragette campaign, hand-crafts, and testimonials considering what it means to be a woman today, the power of the vote and our shared future. The hand-embellished panels were assembled collaboratively in Making for Change, an education training facility established by the Ministry of Justice and London College of Fashion (LCF) that equips prisoners with employability certifications before the end of their sentence.
Credits: Lucy Orta with women at HMP Downview Prison and student volunteers from LCF, coordinated by Social Responsibility at LCF. Photography Michelle Marshall and Lance Tabraham. The mass-procession was produced by Artichoke as part of 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of the women’s right to vote, in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century.