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Wonder Women: Take Up Space

Press release   •   Mar 08, 2018 15:22 GMT

Bury is taking part in a Manchester-wide celebration to mark 100 years of the Representation of the People Act which gave some women in Britain the right to vote.

Wonder Women 2018 features a packed programme of exhibitions, tours, debates, performances and one-off screenings throughout March, made possible thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Manchester was the birthplace of the suffragette movement (founded by Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903 at her family home just off Oxford Road), and thus holds a central position in the history of feminism. But what does the city mean for women living here today? What role can its female citizens play in shaping its future? And how can our cultural institutions contribute towards the fight for women’s rights around the world? These are just some of the questions that Wonder Women 2018, organised by the People’s History Museum, will seek to address.

Bury Art Museum is one of many cultural organisations involved in this year’s Wonder Women event. Celebrations began on Saturday (3 March) with Take up Space, a whole day all about women, and continue with special displays and exhibitions:

Hidden Mothers by Michelle Selway explores what it means to be a mother today, the role of modern women and how our view of what is socially acceptable has changed.

In the 19th Century, early photographers were faced with the challenge of how to keep a small child still for the duration of the exposure. Some photographers used the unsubtle technique of hiding the mother, perhaps under a sheet or behind a curtain, to hold the child still. These images have become known as “Hidden Mothers”. Artist Michelle Selway has recreated a series of Hidden Mother portraits; however this time, rather than being 'hidden', she exposes these mothers and their experiences of being mothers.

Signs of the Times - by various groups:

A series of banners by local groups, students and people involved in the Wonder Women event, showing continuing concerns for gender equality.

Painting in the Collections Gallery - Lady Astor by Charles Sims.

Lady Nancy Astor was the first woman elected as an MP to take her seat in Westminister in 1919. This Charles Sims study shows her first day walking into the House of Commons.

ENDS

Press release issued: 8 March 2018.