PROCESSIONS was a mass participation artwork produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW. It celebrated the centenary of women voting in the UK, and took place in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast on Sunday 10 June 2018.
The project required that we make some connection between the finished banners and key sites in suffragette history. The original Holloway prison, a Victorian stone building known as Holloway Castle, was rebuilt in brick in the 1970s and 1980s. It was closed in 2016, awaited redevelopment, and we were not able to gain permission to enter. However, I found a couple of suitable locations outside the walls. Lucy and a team of volunteers took the banners there for a photo shoot and procession rehearsal. We moved on to Bow Street Magistrates' Court, in Covent Garden, where the suffragettes were tried and sent to prison. This building was also closed, and already undergoing redevelopment. Luckily, the facade was retained and I saw that it appeared much as it did in photographs held in the LSE Women's Library suffragette collection. Sunday 10 June was the date of the Processions event itself. Tens of thousands of women took part across the UK. The LCF team walked the banners along Oxford Street, also a site of suffragette action, and joined the London crowd at Marble Arch. More information on the Processions event can be found at processions.co.uk.
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