Crafts are pleasant and placid, right? WRONG! On the 100thanniversary of partial women’s suffrage in the UK Juliet Fleming and Sarah-Joy Ford are on a mission to subvert.
The suffragettes themselves were incredibly crafty, in every sense of the word. And part of the visual language of their cause came about through banners, sashes, handkerchief petitions and ceramic tablewear: domesticity turned into resistance. Naturally, regressive forces at the time fought back with much anti-suffragette propaganda using animalistic imagery – such as cats – that has long been employed to oppress and degrade marginalised groups. This collaborative exhibition between Juliet Fleming and Sarah-Joy Ford reclaim these old insults (such as with ‘I want, I want 2’ (detail) pictured) with mixed media pieces being shown alongside banners and ceramics that celebrate a radical past, acknowledge continuing failures of justice and representation for women, and gesture towards a feminist future.
Hard Craft: Juliet Fleming & Sarah-Joy Ford, until 15 December, Vane, First Floor, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, Wed-Sat, 12-5pm. vane.org.uk