Warrington Museum pays tribute to political pioneers of the past

www.anniefengphotography.com . All photographs by ANNIE FENG

Museum pays tribute to political pioneers of the past

People across the North West are being called to pay homage to a group of exceptional women through a fascinating new display.

Nevertheless, she persisted is the latest display to be unveiled at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, and it celebrates the role of women in our society, and how that role has changed over the years.

Just 100 years ago, life was very different for women across the UK and the world.

In a society that saw a woman’s place as being in the home, most did not enter into further education or a profession, and women were unable to stand as an MP, or even vote – until 1918.

This year marks the centenary of women winning the right to vote, and in celebration, people up and down the country are paying tribute to the brave women who fought for that right.

To remember this huge socio-political milestone, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery has created a remarkable display that takes a look at some influential Warrington women who broke the mould.

Delving into more than 100 years of local and national records, the museum has managed to uncover some fascinating stories about women who fought for equality, in addition to some contemporary accounts what life is like for women in Warrington today.

Some of these accounts are woven into a vibrant piece of embroidery created by a group of local artists, some of whom are part of the Womanstanley art collective.

Depicting the stories of women both past and present who made a lasting impact on the national and local scene, this piece offers visitors a rare glimpse into the lives of local, strong women from all generations.

Sophie New, one of the artists who worked on the embroidery, said: “We’re extremely honoured to have been asked because I love Warrington, and representing women in art is a big part of our work, so we are delighted to be involved.”

Artists Emily Calland and Michelle Price also worked on the tapestry, while Roxy Ball managed to capture the militant nature of the suffragettes through an eye-catching baton and balaclava, and Abigail Henry created a thought-provoking video to run on a loop.

The display has already attracted a number of visitors, including Warrington North MP, Helen Jones, who is also featured on the embroidery.

She said: “First of all I think the artwork is fantastic, and this entire exhibition is very interesting. There are some women described here that I just didn’t know about.

“In Warrington I would like there to be more research on women who fought for the vote in Lancashire and Cheshire, many of whom were working class women.

“I hope that thinking about the anniversary of the 1918 vote will encourage more women to become involved in their communities, and in politics, and to get their voices heard.”

The exhibition is now open to the public at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery until Saturday 28 April.

Helen said: “We’re so lucky that so many of these battles were fought over a hundred years ago, but there are still battles to be fought and I hope this exhibition will inspire more women to get their voices heard.”