Public Processions as Protest

R-Space Gallery CIC working with artist Lucy Turner and Seacort Print Workshop.

During these times of very strange, volatile, unpredictable, wobbly, erratic and, when you examine it all as a whole, completely chaotic politics, it is interesting to have a brief look at some ‘political’ slogans.

Rural Arts North Yorkshire with artist Angela Hall.

I am not going to engage with the Brexit shambles, but instead take a peak at a few slogan’s which were paraded in last summer’s celebration ‘Processions’ marking 100 years of votes for women.

‘Processions’ was a mass participation artwork to celebrate 100 years of votes for women. It was an open invitation to every woman and girl across the UK to get involved by being present on Sunday 10th June 2018 in one of the four UK capitals.

Greater North Belfast Women’s Network who worked with the National Museums, Northern Ireland.

Women from across the country gathered in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London dressed in the colours of purple, green and white, and marched together inspired by the great processions of the suffragettes and the suffragists in the years leading up to 1918 and the coming of votes for women.

Millennium Court Arts Centre. International Women’s Friendship Group working with artist Tonya McMullan, Flax Art Studios.

One hundred women artists were commissioned to work with community groups and organisations to facilitate the creation of banners with participants collaborating in workshops generating ideas and collectively producing colourful, striking and thought-provoking banners.

Many of the banners trumpeted slogans with universal appeal.

Banners from Women of the Estuary (that is the Thames Estuary) hanging in the Ipswich Library.

And, some banners celebrated various sections of society with both professional and non-professional female practitioners acknowledged.

The Braids Art Centre, Ballymena, Northern Ireland with artist Rosalind Lowry.

Needless to say, I especially appreciated those banners referring to the worlds of creative women.

Mid Wales Arts Centre with artist Loraine Morley on display at DanceEast.

And, finally, on a personal note, having gone to school in Essex I was quietly amused by the Essex women’s bold take on owning their space in this world.

Metal Culture, Southend-on-Sea working with artist Heidi Wigmore.
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Ancient and Modern

All-Saints-Maldon-Triangular-tower-int

It’s a little hard to see from the photographs, but this is the rare, possibly unique, triangular tower of All Saints Church, Maldon, Essex. The top photograph shows two sides of the triangle as you stand looking up to the belfry from the third side.

 

It really is a proper three-sided, stone and flintwork tower supporting a hexagonal roof structure. In fact the three walls of the tower actually form an equilateral triangle and were constructed in the mid-thirteenth century from stone reclaimed from an earlier twelfth-century Norman built church.

It was interesting to find such a quirky tower enhancing a local parish church in what is an unremarkable, market town on the watery fringes of Essex, but .  .  .   there was more – striking mid-twentieth-century stained glass.

full-F-W-Cole-window

This stained glass was made by Frederick W Cole (1908-1998) working for Morris & Sons. Yes, that’s Morris & Sons which is not the famous Morris & Co founded by the William Morris. This stained glass company, Morris and Sons, was originally William Morris & Co of Westminster (also known as William Morris Studios). I can’t help but think that in our litigious times the chances of trading with such a similar name to a famous ‘brand’ would be nigh on impossible.

Generally, I am not a fan of twentieth-century figurative glass and I was surprised to find that this beautiful glass was installed in All Saints in 1950. Interestingly the style of the angels would not look out of place amongst late 1960s or early 1970s fashion illustrations yet perhaps Cole had been influenced by the earlier work of the Arts and Crafts stained glass master, Christopher Whall. For comparison some of Whall’s wonderful windows can be seen at Upton on Severn, Worcestershire.

Mid-20th-century-glass