Artwork to celebrate International Women’s Day

Published March 8, 2018 at 10:41

Five female artists are set to create a piece of public art celebrating influential women to mark  International Women’s Day.

The artists who will be creating artworks on hoardings opposite Blackburn Museum, will shine a light on inspirational women and the experience of women in Britain today. 

The works that have been specially commissioned cover a wide range of styles from photography to collage and include a piece by printmaker Sarah Hardacre that looks at 100 years of suffrage and the lives and stories of Blackburn’s own Suffragettes.

It aims to shine a light on the contribution that working class women made to the suffrage movement, which is often overlooked. 

Sarah will highlight the life of Louisa Entwistle in particular, a local Blackburn weaver and mill worker, who, at 20 years old in 1907, travelled to London to take part in a raid on the House of Commons.

Arrested at the scene, Louisa chose to spend a week in Holloway Goal instead of paying the ten-shilling fine and explained her actions to the Lancashire Evening Post, stating, “I am her to get votes for women. I am here on behalf of my companions who work in the mil and until we get votes we shall not be satisfied.”

The artist and Blackburn University student Emma Colbert will be creating a piece called ‘This dance’.

It will be a collection of abstracted forms of the female body and is a celebration of what it is to be a woman and how far women have come since winning the right to vote.

Anita George’s work features Olive Elaine Morris a 1970s British community leader and activist in the feminist, Black Nationalist, and ‘squatters’ rights campaigns of the 1970s.

And Blackburn artist Taylor Rianne’s photomontage ‘Insight’  will be about growing up as an autistic female in the 21st century. 

While Tasha Whittle is working on a body of street based public work titled ‘Can we just be friends’ representing a plea from nature and the animal kingdom.

The public artwork will be installed through the day on Saturday, March 10 as an outdoor gallery on the hoardings on Museum Street and Richmond Terrace.

The event has been funded by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, and organised by Blackburn University graduate Sophie Skellern.

Councillor Maureen Bateson who has championed International Women’s Day said:

We have such a rich history in both Blackburn and Darwen and yet we don’t often hear about the role women played.

Hopefully through the campaign and the various other events taking place we can inspire other women in the community to make their mark, perhaps by getting involved with an important cause or to seek support to overcome any barriers they might face in achieving their potential in life.

This year promises to be really special down to the hard work of all the people who have come up with really creative ideas to mark the day.

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