Tens of thousands of women to take to the streets for mass participation artwork PROCESSIONS

“The actions of women a hundred years ago during the First World War have paved the way for women today, and we are working with Artichoke to mark this landmark moment in women’s history. We have been overwhelmed by the support for PROCESSIONS, and I look forward to joining women on 10th June to be part of this powerful artwork, which explores what it means to be a woman in the UK today, our successes, and the challenges we still face.”

– Jenny Waldman, Director, 14-18 Now.

PROCESSIONS takes place this Sunday 10th June across the four capital cities of the UK: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. Tens of thousands of women have already signed up to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime mass participation artwork, celebrating one hundred years since the first British women won the right to vote.

Produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, PROCESSIONS will unite women* and girls across the UK to form a living artwork expressing what it means to be a woman today. (*including those who identify as women and non-binary.)
There is no need to register in advance – women and girls can simply meet at the designated assembly point and take part on Sunday 10th June. You can let others know you are coming by joining the relevant Facebook event @PROCESSIONS2018.

“As we countdown the final days until PROCESSIONS, the whole Artichoke team is delighted to have been able to bring to life this ambitious and audacious idea originally conceived of by Creative Director Darrell Vydelingum. I’d like to pay tribute to our commissioners 14-18 NOW and the many other supporters who have made this historic event possible. Most especially, I salute the thousands of women who have embraced the idea of PROCESSIONS and, following in the footsteps of their Suffragette and Suffragist ancestors, will create an unforgettable image that will commemorate 100 years of women voting in a joyful inclusive occupation of our city streets.”

– Helen Marriage, Director, Artichoke.

On The Day:
Participants are invited to form up at the assembly point for each city from 12.15pm, with the processions expected to start at 2pm and last approximately two hours. Once the processions are underway, each participant will be given a scarf to wear in one of the three suffragette colours – green, white and violet – and will then be choreographed to walk in bands of colour, appearing as a unfurling striped suffragette banner.

Interspersed amongst each procession will be participants carrying handmade banners reflecting the concerns and issues that contemporary women face. Over the last few months, 100 organisations across the UK have been paired with female and female-identifying artists for a series of workshops to create these extraordinary artworks. In addition, participants have been invited to make their own banners at home using a toolkit inspired by a 1909 pamphlet created by suffragette artist Mary Lowndes.

PROCESSIONS will be broadcast live across BBC News and BBC One on Sunday 10th June in a national two-hour programme from 2-4pm, presented by Kirsty Young from a London studio and correspondents on-the-ground in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

On The Route:
Music across the routes will enhance the celebratory atmosphere throughout the day. In London the Guildhall School of Music & Drama have brought together a specially formed ensemble of female brass and percussion students, professionals and community musicians. The PROCESSIONS Brass and Percussion ensemble will celebrate the contribution of female brass players, composers and arrangers to today’s music industry. The ensemble, featuring over sixty musicians aged 10 – 60+, will perform a selection of works by leading female composers. Highlights include special arrangements of works by Lucy Pankhurst, relative of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, and a brand new arrangement of Ethel Smyth’s The March of the Women . Performances will take place in Parliament Square throughout the afternoon.

In Belfast an all female samba band, Chidambaram Samba, will be playing as part of the procession, while in Cardiff a newly commissioned trumpet fanfare will start the procession from Cardiff City Football Club and play as the women and girls set off on the route.

DJ, TV presenter and author Lauren Laverne has curated a playlist of female artists to accompany PROCESSIONS. Her chosen selection of music will be broadcast on the PA systems along the routes and at the assembly points of all four cities.

Pink Parcel and betty , a major partner of the project, will be at the London procession with the bettybus on Abingdon Street at the end of the route. Visit them to hear more about their work and how they contribute to women’s charities, schools and homeless shelters, download the Pink Parcel / betty PROCESSIONS Snapchat filter and take a selfie with the PROCESSIONS themed flower wall.

SUNDAY JUNE 10TH PROCESSIONS.CO.UK

Last month Marble Arch , near the assembly point for PROCESSIONS London, was lit up in the suffragette colours. Kay Buxton, CEO of Marble Arch London BID says:

“Since its creation, Marble Arch has been an emblem of triumph and gathering – a gateway for change. This symbolism was widely recognised by the suffragettes with many of their marches and demonstrations commencing at Marble Arch, including the celebration of Emmeline Pankhurst’s release from prison on 16 April 1909. Marble Arch London BID is privileged and humbled to partner with Artichoke and 14-18 NOW in commemorating the suffragettes by lighting the Arch in the movement’s colours of green, white and violet, as well as beginning PROCESSIONS London near Marble Arch in the footsteps of the brave women and girls that achieved so much for human rights 100 years ago.”

The project has been made possible with support from our proud partner NatWest, the Government Equalities Office, the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

14-18 NOW
14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World
War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading
contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35
countries, with commissions taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have
experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7million people took
part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s 2016 work
‘We’re here because we’re here’. The UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins
and designer Tom Piper have been seen by over 3.5 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many
awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award 2017, a Museums Heritage Award
and the Chairman’s Award at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2016. It is supported by the National
Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital,
Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.
www.1418now.org.uk

Artichoke
Producers of extraordinary live events, Artichoke is one of the country’s leading creative companies
and is a registered charity, funded by Arts Council England. At Artichoke, we use art to undermine
the mundane and disrupt the everyday, and create a new kind of world that we’d all like to live in.
Our previous projects include Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant, which brought an estimated
one million people onto the streets of London in 2006; La Machine’s 50-foot high mechanical spider
for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008; Antony Gormley’s One & Other 100-day-long
invasion of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London in 2009; and Deborah Warner’s

commission for the London 2012 Festival with Fiona Shaw, Peace Camp, a nationwide celebration of
landscape and poetry, which took place across eight separate sites around the UK; Temple by David
Best in Derry~Londonderry, attended by more than 75,000 people; and London’s Burning, a festival
to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London in September 2016. Artichoke
creates and produces Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which has been staged in Durham every
two years since 2009; in Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for City of
Culture 2013, and in London in January 2016 and January 2018.
www.artichoke.uk.com

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018