From November to December, Birmingham New Street is to host a unique art installation which celebrates 100 years since women were first allowed to vote. The Face of Suffrage will be a floor-based, 200 metre square photo mosaic consisting of more than 3,500 images of women from across the West Midlands and beyond.
The artwork will be made up of historical images, women involved in the Suffrage movement from the early 1900s, as well as contemporary photographs of women who wish to join in to commemorate and celebrate their stories.
When viewed from above, the photo mosaic will show a portrait of a woman (still to be decided) from the Suffrage movement in the West Midlands. The mosaic will be created by artist Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture, who has installed similar projects across Britain marking other historic and significant occasions, most notably at the entrance to the BBC on Regent Street, London, to commemorate the WW1 Centenary.
People from across the West Midlands and beyond are invited to submit their own pictures of women – their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, friends, work colleagues and heroines, to be part of the photo mosaic and to celebrate and commemorate women.
There will also be opportunities at the station to have photographs taken and included.
Artist Helen Marshall said:
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to show a huge artwork in such an exciting public space. The idea came from my personal experience as a female achieving my dream to be an artist and the wish for women to become more visible, as they have been so invisible throughout art history, both in the representation in portraiture and as artists in their own right. My work is about breaking down barriers between professional and amateur photography and amongst people. I truly hope everybody will feel compelled to send in a photo and to become part of this celebration.”
The artwork will be on display between Thursday 15 November to Friday 14 December – the day which marks the 100th anniversary of women voting for the first time.
An exhibition accompanying the artwork will be at Birmingham Hippodrome from 16 October 2018 – 31 January 2019.
To find out more and upload photographs visit www.thepeoplespicture.com/thefaceofsuffrage
This project is supported by Network Rail, Cross Country Trains, GRAIN Photography Hub, Arts Council England, LSE Women’s Library, Birmingham City University and Birmingham Hippodrome.
Image: Emmeline Pankhurst, Emmeline Pethick Lawrence and others, c.1911. Photograph, printed, paper, monochrome, a group of seven women on a station platform, among them Emmeline Pankhurst and Emmeline Pethick Lawrence.