Inspiring women who made Manchester to be celebrated at free month-long Kampus art exhibition
First In The Fight, a free exhibition to open at the Kampus garden neighbourhood on International Women’s Day (8 March), will display 10 pieces of art depicting 10 different women who had an impact on the city.
It‘s part of a collaboration between Women In Print, an artist-led project telling the stories of women from the north of England, through print and design, and author Helen Antrobus. Following the unveiling of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square in 2018, Helen co-authored the ‘First In The Fight’ book to tell the stories of the 19 other incredible women who’d been shortlisted by the public for the statue.
The exhibition at Kampus will be free for the public to attend, with original art nestled among the lush garden at the city’s rental community opposite Canal Street. To mark Women’s History Month (March) visitors will also be encouraged to celebrate a woman in their life by emblazoning the garden with ribbons in thecolours of the suffragettes–white for purity, purple for dignity and green for hope.
Among the women profiled at the exhibition will be:
• Kathleen Ollerenshaw (1912 – 2014), a mathematician and politician, who dedicated her life to improving access to education. (Artwork by Alex Francis)
• Louise Da-Cocodia (1934 – 2008), who came to the UK in 1955 to train as a nurse. After she experienced the openly racist attitudes towards black nurses, she dedicated her time to improving race relations in Greater Manchester.(Artwork by Ellie Thomas)
• Sunny Lowry (1911 – 2008), a woman synonymous with Victoria Baths, the place where she honed her skills before swimming the English Channel in 1933. (Artwork by Eve Warren)
• Sylvia Pankhurst (1882 – 1960), daughter of Emmeline and Richard Pankhurst who, along with her mother and sisters, was a founding member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), the militant organisation campaigning for women to have the vote on the same terms as men. (Artwork by Halah El-Kholy).
Helen Antrobus, co-authored the First In The Fight book with Andrew Simcock. Helen, a social history curator and historian, said:
“First in the Fight brings the stories and voices of these inspirational women to life. Yes, the suffrage movement and fighting for the vote was so important, but the women shortlisted
• Kathleen Ollerenshaw (Artwork by Alex Francis)
• Louise Da-Cocodia (Artwork by Ellie Thomas)
• Margaret Downes (Artwork by Tomekah George)
• Esther Roper (Artwork by Chelsea Waites)
• Enriqueta Rylands (Artwork by Helen Musselwhite)
• Mary Quaile (Artwork by Wendy Wong)
• Sunny Lowry (Artwork by Eve Warren)
• Elizabeth Gaskell (Artwork by Artsy Nibs – Joyce Lee)
• Lydia Becker (Artwork by Maisie Summer)
A selection of the prints from the exhibition will be available to buy at https://womeninprint.uk/ - with proceeds going to Women’s Aid.
The First In The Fight book can be purchased from The Pankhurst Centre, on Nelson Street in Manchester, or the People’s History Museum.
For more information about Kampus or to book a viewing, visit here