Protest, Democracy & Freedom / Manchester Histories Festival

 As part of Manchester Histories Festival 2019, I was one of ten artists commissioned to work with archives and heritage collections across Manchester to create a response to the themes of protest, democracy and freedom. 

Working with material from Stockport Library archive, this piece was inspired by the personal scrapbook of Hannah Winbolt who was a working class silk weaver and prominent suffragette advocate from Hazel Grove in Stockport. 

The hand screen printed fabric features a design created using an audio reactive programme in Processing. The incoming audio of me reading one of Hannah’s speeches aloud was mapped to visual objects on screen (I used the image of the boundary lines of Stockport) which reacted to the amplitude of my voice. 

Ring out the old, Ring in the new, Ring out the false, ring in the true.

I used the same colour palette that would have been used to dye the silk in the mid – late 19th century. The words featured are an extract from one of Hannah’s speeches. By highlighting the negative space where the words have been removed and the light shines through, I wanted to draw parallels to the attempts to silence her and many other women who through resilience, strength and determination fought for women’s rights throughout their lives. 

The lights were exhibited at Stockport Library. 

Laser Cutting  / Drawn by the Light

Processing & Code / Vicky Clarke

Lampshade construction / Art Illuminated