Procession Banner 1918-2018
Materials: Various textiles, appliqué, embroidery, ribbons, pompoms, fringes
Dimensions: 130 x 190 cm each
Exhibition history: 2019 De la Warr Pavillon, Bexhill, UK; Buckingham Palace, London, UK; 2018 Ikon Gallery, Medicine Gallery and Bakery, Birmingham, UK; Processions Mass March, London, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta, commissioned by Historic England
From January to June 2018, Lucy Orta staged workshops with women incarcerated in HMP Downview, which led to the co-creation of ten monumental banners. The project used craft and textile practice to connect participants with the suffragette movement and to highlight Holloway prison's 'intangible heritage' in relation to female emancipation. Procession Banners was a way to give visibility to contemporary struggles women still face, their aspirations and hopes for a more equitable future. The banners were carried by ex-offenders during the Processions mass-march to celebrate the centenary of the womens right to vote, June 10 2018.
Historically, HMP Holloway was one of the most notorious sites associated with the women’s suffrage campaign, with over 1000 suffragettes imprisoned there during their struggle to obtain the vote. When the prsion closed in 2016, many residents were relocated to HMP Downview, where London College of Fashion (LCF) opened the fashion training and manufacturing unit Making for Change.
Procession Banners was commissioned by Historic England and coordinated by the department for Social Responsibility at LCF, University of the Arts London.