Votes for Women Exhibition PosterIn 1918 women in Britain over the age of 30, meeting certain property qualifications, were given the right to vote, and in 1928 suffrage was extended to all women over the age of 21.

Celebrating Women’s Achievements Through Art at Stephen Oliver: Studio & Gallery

Back in April this year I started to invite artists/hobbyists to submit artwork on the topic of ‘celebrating women of achievement’.  This could be someone well known, or it could be someone they know personally. The work could represent an individual or a group.

The response from the local community has been fantastic.  With paintings from local primary schools celebrating Bessie Coleman, JK Rowling, Girl Power, Rosa Parks.  A reproduction period dress of a Suffragette protester loaned from a local historian.  Embroidery from a local group of ladies known as ‘Stitching friends’ and cartoons from the celebrated ‘toonist Hunt Emerson.  Not forgetting one of our youngest contributors, Emma Kay Bowler, who painted a wonderful portrait of Mary Anning, who, as Emma informs us, is famous for finding fossils.

Suffragette Replica RocksLocal ‘Rockers’ created special hand painted pebbles and rocks celebrating some of the wonder women of our time.  A couple of replica suffragette missiles were created by a founder member of the community group ‘Dartford Deeds Not Words Foundation’.

Votes for Women PaintingOn 18 July 2018 Dartford Science and Technology College held their fifth whole college community day.  The aim of the day was to make a direct, measurable and visible impact upon the Dartford community.  Three students from the college came to the Gallery to help complete our ‘Votes for Women’ painting.  The finished painting has been purchased by the college and I will be donating the proceeds to ‘Mary’s Child’, a local women’s charity.

The Votes for Women Exhibition runs from 4 August until 1 September 2018 (Wednesday to Sunday) at Stephen Oliver: Studio and Gallery in the Orchards Centre, Dartford.  Many thanks to our sponsors, Orchards Shopping Centre and Dartford Big Local, for helping to make the exhibition possible.  And to all the wonderful contributors for making it a varied and interesting display.

~ Stephen Oliver

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