I was lucky enough to be given a personalised tour of the Voice and Vote exhibition at the Houses of Parliament by merchandising manager Linsey Davies in September. I finally managed a visit the exhibition with my good friend ceramicist Timea Sido.
The exhibition is very well thought out and takes you through the history of the women's suffrage movement. Of course part of the reason for going to the exhibition was to see the Women's Suffrage jewellery collection
I had created for the exhibiton. Although the lovely Deneke from Hidden Art
had been kind enough to send me some photographs of my jewellery it was great to see it in situ. The shop is an integral part of the exhibition with all of the items for sale laid out beautifully.
It was also great to get another look at the New Dawn light sculpture made by Mary Branson where the original inspiration for the women's suffrage jewellery collection came from.
Walking through the exhibition and appreciating all of the sacrifices the women of the suffrage movement endured is a humbling experience. Let us not forget Emily Wilding Davison
who hid herself in a broom cupboard in The Houses of Parliament during the 1911 census. The broom cupboard is recreated for the exhibition with the plaque
that Tony Benn
put up in her honour without permission.
Militant Emiline Pankhurst
whose 'Deeds not words' mantra was carried out by her and her fellow suffragettes also features in the exhibition for the huge part she played in securing the vote for women. The women's human sacrifies through hunger strikes and force feeding was rewarded by medals and certificates.
The curators of the exhibition have built a replica of the 'Ladies Gallery'
where women were allowed to watch the parlimentary debates. This was where the Women's Freedom League
chained themselves to the railings as a protest. One of the petitions that was taken to parliament was also on display.
I particularly liked this quote! "Every boy in Manchester should be taught to darn his own socks and cook his own chops"
Uplifting too was the wall of names of all of the womens who are now in Parliament. We have come a long way since the first 'mass' petition was taken to Parliament in 1866.
So you all know what to do ladies!
#Womenssuffrage #Vote100 #Viceandvote #Sallyleesjewellery #ukparliament