Artist Mary Branson has been commissioned by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art to develop a proposal for a site-specific work to be placed in a permanent location in the Palace of Westminster as part of the Parliamentary Art Collection. This work will commemorate the historic campaign for women's suffrage which led to the 1918 and 1928 Acts of Parliament that gave women the vote.
As Artist-in-Residence, Mary Branson will have an opportunity to explore the official records of Parliament and material relating to women's suffrage in Parliament's Works of Art and Archives collections, to work closely with academics, curators and other specialists, and to develop her understanding of the campaign, and how it interacted with Parliament as a legislature and the Palace of Westminster as a physical location.
Mary Branson holds a first class honours degree in Fine Art from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design and an MA in Art and Space from Kingston University. She was nominated for the Beck's Futures prize in 2005, and specialises in producing site-specific art installations. She has created suffragette-themed work previously, when she developed the winning proposal in a competition for an Emily Davison memorial installation in Epsom.
Frank Doran MP, Chair of the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, said:
"The Committee has made a particular effort to recognise the unique contribution women have made to political life in the UK by placing women and works by women at the heart of the Parliamentary Art Collection. This commission will honour the women and men who took part in the suffrage campaign as we approach the one hundredth anniversary of the first women receiving the right to vote."
Mary Branson, Artist-in-Residence, said:
"This is a wonderful opportunity to have access to the suffrage archives and to discuss with experts the complex journey women undertook to secure the vote. Working within the Houses of Parliament and responding creatively to the environment will really inspire the final piece."
Image: Parliamentary copyright