Cutting Cloth

Working with a super group of women today at DASH (The Hive) as part of Shropshire Women’s response to the Processions project. Having done a brief recap, for the benefit of new group members, we got stuck in and the project became real as we cut into the green felt fabric which will represent our Shropshire hills and which will be the central panel of the banner. To get to that stage a to scale paper pattern  was made which was good for visual thinkers like myself as the theoretical measurements became real spaces. It’s going to be a big banner !

green felt  IMG_2136

Throughout the session we were adding to our list of women of Shropshire whose names, achievements/role/jobs/location we want to include in our design. Each group member has taken a ‘hill’ home and has been randomly allocated a name/names of women who they will incorporate into their hill in whatever fashion they choose to use. This means that as part of the making process we are researching women and sharing their stories with one another. We are including historical and current women and are asking all people to please send in names to the project so that we have a really diverse group of women included in our banner.

It was interesting to see people naturally ‘falling’ into roles that played to their strengths without any formal allocation – women working together with a common goal. I think all of us  felt a sense of importance  and pride in creating this banner and including women who have contributed/contribute to our county. Many thanks to Genevieve Tudor from Radio Shropshire came along to interview us and listen in on our thoughts and ideas and will be getting our voices out there and promoting our project.

The project goes out to Quatt next week (Wednesday 14th March – 11-2.00pm) where we will be working on the surrounding section for the central panel. This will be made up of individual squares of fabric and I look forward to the discussions with that group about how we want to design this area and what we want to say.

Finally we want to invite women across Shropshire to make an individual fabric strip that will be made into a long fabric chain – symbolising the bonds and unity of Shropshire women across our large and diverse county.  It is hoped that those who couldn’t get to the workshops will feel they can contribute to the project by doing this. We are asking for a  strip of fabric measuring  approx 3 inches by 10 inches (when completed) be sent to us at DASH – The Hive, 5 Belmont, Shrewsbury SY1 1TE with where you live and a word/words about being a woman today in Shropshire – you may want to include your role/occupation.   If the fabric you use is flimsy or frays a lot you may want to double in by folding a larger piece in half and sticking/hemming together)

The Banners Processions on June 10th that are taking place throughout the country commemorating/celebrating #100years  is really going to be a historic and proud moment for many of us as Shropshire Women proclaim – WE ARE HERE !

Artsy twaddle

I’m often asked about what made me become an artist and I often give a somewhat sounding romantic flippant answer; ‘it’s something that has always been within me’ and ‘It’s something I have to do’ but in reality both these statements are true. The real question is not why I am an artist but why do I feel this way and why do so many others feel like this? Rothko once said he was ‘expressing basic human emotion’ and I think this is at the core of it. It’s about trying to ‘make real’ the relationship within ourselves and the outside world- to comment – to react – to begin a conversation. How we go about this is different because of course we are all different and as one person is expressing beauty another is expressing ugliness, as another expresses joy another expresses pain. But it’s all expression or reaction or observation. This still all sounds a bit wishy washy but in without art it I am incomplete and mute.


Processions Project Launch- Celebrating Shropshire Women


I couldn’t have wished for a better group of women to get us started who were happy to give their thoughts and opinions relating to not only the project but to the bigger picture of women in Shropshire today. They were also great about being decisive regarding ideas of how the banner should look and be constructed.



It was decided that the banner will be split into three sections in view of the project being taken to three different locations.

Section one-A central panel will be produced at The Hive which will incorporate the Shropshire Hills, a larger circular sun/moon and the words – WE ARE HERE- incorporated into the design. One of the areas of discussion was about the fact Shropshire is still an unknown place to the rest of the country and the women of the county are also unknown. When we looked at historic banners the majority stated where they were from and so a statement firmly placing us was decided as our strong statement. It was also decide that the words Shropshire Women would be put on the outer border. The materials for that central panel will be a base of felt because of its strong colours and ease to use (no fraying) but that we would work into these felt sections with needle felting, stitching and ‘podging’. The names of important Shropshire women will be part of the design as a close up detail.


Section Two – will be an outer border to the central panel and will frame the central image. This will be made by the group meeting at Quatt. Some ideas of what this may look like were mooted and the idea that maybe a series of individual pieces of a patchwork might be a good construction method. But it was decided that it was important that the group that shows up at Quatt would be best placed to determine this. I would like to have the same/continued conversations with this group in the same way as I had at the first meet up at The Hive.


Section Three– will be the main border and tabs that hold the banner on to poles and additional pieces. This will be done at a drop in session at participate and as an ‘outreach’ part of the project. We know some people want to be involved but can’t get to the sessions and so we thought this was a good way of enabling everyone to have their voice heard. We are going to invite people to make a strip of fabric that states their geographic location and to also add a word/words that express something about being a woman in Shropshire today.  The completed strips of fabric need to be approximately 10inches/26cms in length and 3 ½ inches/9cms in width. We will then add these strips either as a fringe at the bottom of our banner (we were inspired by our Morris Troop The Shropshire Bedlams costumes) or made into links to form a fabric chain that unifies all the women of Shropshire.




The construction of the components of the banner will take place on Tuesday June 5th at The Hive and we hope as many people as possible will come and join in.

images (1)

We also formed a face book group called Shropshire Subversive Stitchers (the subversive stitchers bit came from a comment relating to the banners and procession one hundred years ago) Already we have lots of people being actively involved in researching Shropshire women, posting about the suffrage/suffragettes and putting how they feel being involved in the project as well as saying something about being a woman. Please do join the group an become involved in the conversation.

#processions #100years #suffrage #suffragette #shropshire #women #metoo

Processions Project

votes old imageDelighted to have been asked by DASH to be the lead artist in this amazing project and something dear to my heart. Looking forward to it developing some of the ‘open doors’ left from my arts council funded project which was primarily centred on issues pertinent to women. Looking forward to working and being creative with groups of women in Shropshire to make a banner that is representative of their views today.

PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary.

PROCESSIONS will invite women* and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21stcentury.

DASH is one of 100 organisations working with women artists up and down the country in the lead-up to the event, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast artwork.

The banner-making workshops will focus on text and textiles, echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign and will be spaces to consider the power of the vote today and our shared future. The banners made will represent and celebrate the diverse voices of women and girls from different backgrounds.

The lead artist for DASH is Anne Marie Lagram, a Shropshire based artist who recently completed an Arts Council funded project called Medgel – Portrait of a Witch

DASH DASH is working with The Hive and S.A.N.D. to create a series of inclusive workshops for disabled women, young women, older women and those who identify as non binary.

The workshops will take place at The Hive, 5 Belmont Shrewsbury, on 12thFebruary, 5th March,26th March, 30th April, 21st May and 5th June.

Helen Marriage, CEO Artichoke said:

The 100th anniversary of the passing of legislation which made universal suffrage unstoppable is a moment both for celebration and reflection. Individuals and groups up and down the country, including DASH, will be at the heart of this UK-wide artwork. What they make and bring to their chosen procession on Sunday 10th of June will form part of a unique living portrait of women today.

PROCESSIONS is commissioned by 14-18 NOW and produced by Artichoke. With support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

PROCESSIONS Cardiff is produced by Artichoke in partnership with Festival of Voice and Wales Millennium Centre.