Who do you know in your community, in your family or in the public eye that uses their position, or time and energy to make a difference to the lives of others? Perhaps you have been inspired by the stories from women’s history and the suffrage movement when visiting Women & Power exhibitions at National Trust properties?
Artists LOW PROFILE are working with the National Trust in the South West to uncover stories about inspiring women who have made change possible through their actions.
The project celebrates and draws attention to figures who have contributed in different ways to the achievement of universal suffrage (votes for all), and also to women’s rights. Some of these stories may be linked to National Trust properties and to contemporary campaigners, activists and change makers.
From 24 May – 13 August 2018, people are being asked to contribute to the project by ringing a dedicated phone line (01752 710086) and recording their story. Extracts from these stories will be selected and compiled alongside a series of specially commissioned songs echoing the suffrage songs of the original movement, and a series of interviews into a collection of audio artworks to be published on the National Trust website and broadcast online.
‘We have been really inspired by the stories highlighted through the National Trust’s Women and Power series and finding out more about the women linked to National Trust properties around the South West, like Joyce Wethered (later Lady Armoury) who was the star of Women’s Golf in the 1920s. She was the last member of the family to live at Knightshayes (nr Tiverton) and toured the USA in the 1930s, playing exhibition matches alongside her male counterparts – something that would have been pretty unheard of at the time’, said Rachel Dobbs from LOW PROFILE
‘We are looking for stories about individuals who identify as female, who in different ways make a significant and positive impact on the world. Those who may go against the grain, and those who don’t accept the status quo and work to change the world for people who come after them. Those who you want to thank, celebrate and tell other people about,’ said Hannah Rose from LOW PROFILE.
Hazel Barry-Scott, the project lead for the National Trust said, ‘We’re really excited to be working with LOW PROFILE to celebrate inspirational women who have influenced change throughout history and continue to do so today. The National Trust’s Women and Power programme in the South West has shown the extraordinary breath of women’s stories at our places and now we want to hear about our visitors stories and the ones they find inspiring.’
The long struggle for women’s suffrage and the debates it inspired across the homes, workplaces and communities of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are being explored this year as part of the National Trust’s commemoration to mark 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act.
The 1918 Act granted some women the right to vote in British parliamentary elections for the first time. A century on, the conservation charity has a series of events, exhibitions, on-site tours and creative commissions at properties across the country with links to both sides of the suffrage movement as well as women who influenced change throughout history. The Trust has also invited a number of contemporary thinkers and artists such as LOW PROFILE, to reflect on the significance of the centenary of women’s suffrage at places around the country including Tyntesfield near Bristol, Killerton near Exeter, and Lacock in Wiltshire.
The stories collected from across the south west and further afield for this project between the National Trust and LOW PROFILE will help uncover tales that celebrate the contribution of a wide range of people who identify as female, whose actions have helped change things for those who come after them.
To find out more and how to get involved at nationaltrust.org.uk/storiesofwomen or ring the Women & Power phone line on 01752 710086.