A Glasgow based artist has made an installation, now on at the Rutherglen Library in Glasgow, around a banner she has created to mark the centenary of women gaining the right to vote. Christina Quarrell, who is a regular visitor to Arran told the Voice,
“The art installation came about because I wanted to create a local banner to join in the countrywide celebration of 100 years of women and the vote on June 10th 2018. I am part of a local craft group The Busy Bees who assisted me in my Banner Making endeavors. 100 women’s names from past and present were compiled reflecting working class women alongside more famous women such as Flora Drummond and Helen Crawfurd.”
Here is some text from the exhibition in which Christina describes her inspiration for her 100 YEARS OF THE VOTE banner:
The humble safety pin as a symbol.
Working class women across Scotland often were the “safety pin” within their communities.
their labour and their daily fight to keep their families fed and alive is worth honouring and remembering.
Political agitation and the struggle to survive against grinding poverty was part of their day to day life.
in the home
in the workplace
in their communities.
Travel labels as a symbol of past and future
On each of the 100 travel labels on the banner is a woman’s name from past decades.
Womens names are rarely written onto public memorials to remember their past sacrifices.
The travel labels call each one of us as local women and men to reflect on the fight for human rights and women’s liberation by
our great grandmothers.
We became who we are today because of their strengths and stamina to fight injustices and their struggle to create for future generations a more equal society.
Working class women fought long and fought hard to win the vote.
Many stories of women in our family herstory go unrecorded.
Now is a good time to reclaim the landscapes of their lives and their victories.
My hope for this banner is to gather stories from local people on the journeys travelled within their own families from 1918 to 2018.
To record the women who led their families to where they are in life today.
We all stand on the shoulders of strong tenacious women.
Time to honour and celebrate each and every one!
CHRISTINA Milarvie Quarrell is a poet, photographer and artist. The fourth of five sisters born in the Gorbals and Govanhill communities where as children we learned the values of people before profit. ‘Community Arts and the creating and gathering of working class communities culture, stories, songs and art is my passion’. Christina gave a talk on Mary Barbour and the Rent Strikes, to the Arran Antiquarian society in 2016. Christina is happy to bring her work over to Arran and can offer talks on the banner and other community art that she is working on. Please contact the Voice to find out more.
The installation is on until 31st August 2018.