Metal celebrates #VotesForWomen centenary

Arts organisation METAL is delighted to announce that they have been selected as one of 100 organisations nationally to be part of PROCESSIONS, a UK wide mass participatory community artwork to mark the centenary of women getting the vote

PROCESSIONS is inviting women* and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century. METAL, alongside the other organisations, will work with women artists up and down the country in the lead-up to the march, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops with the community to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast living sculpture. The banner-making workshops will focus on text and textiles, echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign and will be opportunities for women to consider the power of their vote today and their shared future.

The banners made will represent and celebrate the diverse voices of women and girls from different backgrounds. Helen Marriage, CEO of Artichoke, the national public art company producing the project said: “The 100th anniversary of the passing of legislation which made universal suffrage unstoppable is a moment both for celebration and reflection. Individuals and groups up and down the country, including Metal, will be at the heart of this UK-wide artwork. What they make and bring to their chosen procession on Sunday 10th of June will form part of a unique living portrait of women today.”

How can I get involved?
Metal have commissioned artists Kate Genever and Katie Smith to work with women in Peterborough Wednesday evenings from 14th March to 16th May from 6.30 – 8.30pm at Chauffeurs Cottage, 1 St Peters Rd, Peterborough, PE1 1YX. Workshops are free. Metal will invite 50 of the women involved in the workshops to travel with them to London to take part in the procession in June.

Make a pansy
Kate and Katie are also inviting women* to make a pansy, the symbol of the Suffragettes, which they will add to the banner for you. They will be making up FREE packs of materials and a simple guide to help you make a pansy. This is a simple way to make a contribution.

How can I find out more?
For further details visit projects/processions. If you are interested in joining the workshops or want a pack to make a pansy please contact Sarah on 01733 893 077 or at sarah@
• PROCESSIONS is commissioned by 14-18 NOW and produced by Artichoke. With support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
• PROCESSIONS Cardiff is produced by Artichoke in partnership with Festival of Voice and Wales Millennium Centre.

*those who identify as women or non-binary.

Producers of extraordinary live events, Artichoke is one of the country’s leading creative companies and is a registered charity, funded by Arts Council England. At Artichoke, we use art to undermine the mundane and disrupt the everyday, and create a new kind of world that we’d all like to live in.

Our previous projects include Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant, which brought an estimated one million people onto the streets of London in 2006; La Machine’s 50-foot high mechanical spider for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008; Antony Gormley’s One & Other 100-day-long invasion of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London in 2009; and Deborah Warner’s commission for the London 2012 Festival with Fiona Shaw, Peace Camp, a nationwide celebration of landscape and poetry, which took place across eight separate sites around the UK; Temple by David Best in Derry~Londonderry, attended by more than 75,000 people; and London’s Burning, a festival to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London in September 2016.

Artichoke creates and produces Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which has been staged in Durham every two years since 2009; in Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for City of Culture 2013, and in London for the first time in January 2016.

Did you know…?

● In the nineteenth century women had no place in national politics. They could not stand as candidates for Parliament. They were not even allowed to vote. It was assumed that women did not need the vote because their husbands would take responsibility in political matters. A woman’s role was seen to be child-rearing and taking care of the home. As a result of the industrial revolution many women were in full-time employment, which meant they had opportunities to meet in large organised groups to discuss political and social issues.

● February 2018 saw the official centenary of the day in 1918, that the ‘Representation of the People Act’ gave the first British women the right to vote and stand for public office. This momentous occasion paved the way for all women getting the vote in 1928. It’s quite something when you stop and consider the impact this event had on women today. Peterborough now has a female MP (Fiona Onasanya), a female Chief Executive of the Council (Gillian Beasley) and many, many strong female leaders who are affecting change in Peterborough.

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms. The commemorative period is marked by three key seasons – Anniversary of the Declaration of War in 2014, the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme in 2016, and the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018. 14-18 NOW is responsible for the UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, and ‘We’re here because we’re here’ by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris.

14 -18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising. 14-18 NOWhas commissioned over 140 artworks to date that have been seen by more than 30 million people.

Metal was founded in 2002 and has been active in Liverpool since 2004, the South Essex region since 2007 and Peterborough since 2012. Each of our spaces: Edge Hill Station in Liverpool, Chalkwell Hall in Southend and Chauffeurs Cottage in Peterborough were renovated to create centres of activity for artists, creatives and community. From these bases, Metal have worked with artists and local agencies to provide the catalyst that is helping to transform the potential for thriving creative and cultural industries in these three places over the last ten years.

Metal also works directly with artists from overseas and across the UK helping them to research and realise ambitious projects and ideas that take place in a wide variety of contexts within the region. These ideas often respond in a specific way to place and are innovative in content. We take a developmental approach to local creativity and talent – training, mentoring and supporting the growth of knowledge and capacity in the sector, encouraging crosssector and cross-disciplinary conversations and sharing of knowledge. Metal also creates its own projects – large in scale, high in impact and involving a wide number of participants and audience from all walks of life.

Each year Metal works with around 1200 artists from across the world, 18,000 active participants, over 60,000 live audiences and more than 100,000 online audiences.

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