The Face of Suffrage
The People’s Picture | 2018
The ‘Face of Suffrage’ artwork, a floor-based, 200 metre-square photo mosaic, is made up of more than 3,700 images of females from across the West Midlands and beyond. When viewed from above, it shows Hilda Burkitt, a leading face from the suffrage movement in the West Midlands. The image is made up of a combination of historical pictures of women involved in the suffragette movement from the West Midlands in the early 1900s and of females today using photographs submitted by the public be part of the commemoration.
Evaline Hilda Burkitt was the first suffragette to be forcibly fed – a total of 292 times. She had a job at the Birmingham (Women’s Social and Political Union Headquarters), near New Street station, and threw a stone at Prime Minister Asquith’s train as it pulled away, soon after he attended a male-only budget meeting. She was then imprisoned at Winson Green prison. The artwork was on display until 14th December 2018 – 100 years since some women voted for the first time.
Years of womens suffrage
Creating the Artwork
A project by The People’s Picture, co-produced by GRAIN, with the support of Network Rail, Arts Council England, CrossCountry Rail and Heritage Lottery Fund made possible by National lottery players. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave some British women the right to vote and stand for public office for the first time. One hundred years on, we invited women and girls across the region and beyond to mark this historic moment as part of a living visual portrait of women in the 21st century.
Behind the Scenes
Documentary & Fine Art Photographer
Maryam Wahid is a photographer based in Birmingham. She was selected for the acclaimed Portrait of Britain award 2018. She explores her identity and displays concepts of her religious and cultural heritage as a British Asian Muslim woman. Maryam created portraits of women from all ethnic backgrounds as a response to The Face of Suffrage photo mosaic. Her portraits convey power and solidarity in the diverse range of iconic women we have in Britain.
Fine Art Photographer
Agi Ch is a Birmingham based artist who has exhibited throughout the West Midlands, most notably in 2015 in ‘Urban Life’ at the RBSA Gallery. Agi is Chair of the non-profit organisation, Frame Creatives, that supports photographers in the West Midlands by providing workshops, talks and exhibition opportunities. She is also Exhibition Secretary for the Disabled Photographers Society and produced an annual for their members.
Luca C Bailey
Luca C Bailey is a photographer based in Birmingham. His series of portraits of women of all ages represents the ‘visibility’ of women today and the debt owed to the Suffragettes who fought for parity and visibility. The portraits were taken in Aldridge, West Midlands, the home town of Ellen Isabel Jones. Ellen was imprisoned in Holloway Jail in 1914 for her protests for women’s suffrage. These portraits of women today are a homage to the courage of Ellen Isabel Jones and her fellow Suffragettes.