A new exhibition is highlighting feminist activism through banners

Women Making History brings together over 100 handmade banners originally created for a mass scale art initiative

Held in London, the new exhibition presents over 100 banners first commissioned in 2018 as part of Processions, a mass participation artwork organised by art events producer Artichoke and 14-18 NOW.

The occasion saw tens of thousands come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London to coincide with the centenary of the women’s vote in the UK.

Creators and visual artists including Vivienne Westwood, Claudette Johnson and Sarah Maple were involved in the making of the banners, which encompass issues ranging from gender-based violence to reproductive and economic rights.

Top and above: Matthew Andrews

Though a markedly different context to the original Processions march, the banners are elevated to grand heights in the exhibition, filling the space like sails or house flags.

The show gives a rare opportunity to see the craft up close, which is difficult in march or protest settings, and it is accompanied by an app allowing visitors to look up each banner and discover additional detail, imagery and artist quotes.

Image: Matthew Andrews
Banner by Plymouth College of Art, artist Elizabeth Masteron and tattoo artist Jedna Hall. Artwork images: Artichoke and Google Arts and Culture
Image: Simon Corder
Scottish Refugee Council banner made with women from the Glasgow refugee community and artists Paria M. Goodarzi and Helen de Main
Image: Simon Corder

Women Making History runs at London Scottish House in Westminster until July 11; londonscottishhouse.org