The Face of Suffrage
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. Evaline Hilda Burkitt was born in Wolverhampton in 1876 and died in 1955. She was the first suffragette to be forcibly fed a total of 292 times and had a job at the Birmingham WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) headquarters, in Ethel Street, near New Street station. Hilda threw a stone at Prime Minister Herbert Asquith’s train as it pulled out of Birmingham New Street after he attended a male-only budget meeting and she was imprisoned at Winson Green prison.
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. The artwork will be on display until Friday 14 December – the day which marks the 100th anniversary of women voting for the first time.
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.
The 200 square metre giant portrait reveals a local Suffragist whose ‘daring and brave’ story will inspire & invigorate the city. Composed of approximately 3,500 individual photos, it is on the concourse at Birmingham New Street Station from November 15th and will remain until 14th December, the day women voted for the first time. An exhibition of photos of women involved the Suffrage Movement from LSE Woman’s Library have been exhibited at Birmingham Hippodrome from the 16th October 2018. Around 170,000 people will see the artwork per day, people from all over the UK, local, national and international travellers as they pass through the station.
The full gallery of photos is updated here every few days. It includes all public contributions via the campaign, photographer’s contributions and more.
The Face of Suffrage Reviews
Follow the link below to learn more about upcoming reviews and news about The Face of Suffrage final art-work presentation and the amazing process that lead to it!
In Partnership with
Birmingham New Street is more than just a station, it is a central hub for people living in and visiting the West Midlands.We hope the project will engage women who work at the station as well as passengers, shoppers and people walking through the station.
GRAIN is an arts organisation dedicated to commissioning, facilitating and delivering ambitious, engaging and high-quality photography projects, commissions, events and exhibitions. GRAIN collaborate with partners regionally, nationally and internationally to collaborate with communities and reach new audiences.
This project is supported by Arts Council England. England has a dynamic visual arts sector that seeks constantly to reinvent itself, blurring boundaries and collaborating with other creative disciplines. We fund projects across a broad range of media, including painting, sculpture and film.
The project will celebrate and commemorate this important year for women, 100 years of the vote, utilising archive and historical imagery from The Women’s Library, England’s main library and museum resource on women and the women’s movement.
The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, made possible by National lottery players