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Far north women raise their banners for exhibition

By David G Scott

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Colourful textile banners made by women from across the far north will be on display in the Strathpeffer Pavilion later this month.

The banners are part of a giant UK wide collaborative art project by Artichoke called Processions, will be on display from next Wednesday (September 22) to Friday (September 24).

North Coast Women banner.
North Coast Women banner.

These textile art banners tell the stories of women’s suffrage and Highland artists Alex Patience, Heidi Soos and Lizzie McDougall are delighted and excited to show all three banners together and invite all who took part in making, supporting their making and in marching with them in Edinburgh in 2018 and the wider public to the Pavilion for the chance to see them together.

Women on the north coast, Ross-shire's east and west coasts and in Inverness, all took part in making the banners, combining many art and craft techniques with various materials along with creativity and imagination. They are seen as a "unique celebration of women living in the Highlands".

North Coast Women on Princes Street, Edinburgh during the Processions March in 2018.
North Coast Women on Princes Street, Edinburgh during the Processions March in 2018.

The Three Highland Banners were made to take part in the "once in a lifetime" mass participatory artwork created by leading arts event maker Artichoke as a celebration of 100 years of votes for women.

Artichoke commissioned 100 female artists around the UK to create banners "as an expression of gratitude to the women who worked to get the vote and to give voice to issues of the importance in voting today".

Tens of thousands of women took part in events that included workshops to make the banners and processions in 2018 in all four UK capitals. This year all 100 banners were exhibited in London. There was to have been a tour of all the banners around the country but due to Covid the Three Highland Banners have come home and it was decided instead to create a mini event in the Strathpeffer Pavilion’s veranda to showcase them.

All ages of North Coast Women at the Processions March in Edinburgh.
All ages of North Coast Women at the Processions March in Edinburgh.

They can be viewed from outside anytime and the doors will also be open each day from noon to 4pm for a closer look, with a Covid aware one-way-system, hand sanitisers and masks provided. There will also be the chance to meet one of the artists as they will be in attendance at the exhibition.

The event has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/543979953495405

More information on Artichoke and the banners can be found at www.artichoke.uk.com/project/women-making-history/

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