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Sadiq Khan announces public art project celebrating women

PICTURED: Sadiq Khan

MAYOR OF London, Sadiq Khan today announced a new public exhibition that will see 20 new artworks of London women popping up in more than a dozen public spaces right across the city.

Through a partnership with the Tate Collective, artists have been commissioned to create work featuring women who have played a crucial role in London’s history, but have been largely overlooked. They include reporter and activist Jackie Foster, suffragist Lolita Roy, suffragette Adelaide Knight and the women who built Waterloo Bridge.

This exhibition, LDN WMN, will see ambitious artworks displayed from October 18-28 in a range of public locations, from Canning Town to Alexandra Palace, Brick Lane to Kings Cross. The work will include large installations, paintings and digital graphics, and will bring the hidden stories of London’s campaigning and pioneering women to life on the streets of the city.

The exhibition is the latest part of the Mayor of London’s year-long women’s equality campaign, #BehindEveryGreatCity, to mark the centenary of the first women in the UK winning the right to vote, and drive forward gender equality across the city.

LDN WMN will address the underrepresentation of women in art, and in particular provide a platform for talented young diverse artists in London. Research has revealed that 78 per cent of galleries in London represent more men than women, with only five per cent representing an equal number of men and women artists1. A recent report from the Arts Council shows that there remains significant under-representation of people from a BAME background in the creative industries, making up only 17 per cent of the arts workforce in England2.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Women of every age, background, faith and ethnicity make London the great city that it is – and these new artworks will rightly put the spotlight on the musicians, journalists, campaigners, engineers and designers who have had a fundamental impact on the city we live in. Women remain underrepresented both as the subjects of works of art, and as artists. I’m pleased that LDN WMN is challenging how we celebrate the achievements of women in London, as well as giving a platform to talented artists in London.”

Justine Simons, OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, commented: “We will shine a light on amazing London women past and present. A host of remarkable women whose stories have not been told will be honoured by a new generation of talented women artists. Contemporary artworks of these important historical figures will appear across London’s public spaces and places - from Southbank Centre square, to Alexandra Palace, from Kings Cross Station to Redbridge community library. It’s all part of the Mayor’s Behind Every Great City campaign, our continued push for gender equality in the capital.”

Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate added: “We are delighted that members of the London Tate Collective team have been invited to curate this exciting initiative, highlighting the creativity of emerging artists and celebrating exceptional women. It will be thrilling to see these artworks unveiled across London.”

This project has been funded by the Centenary Cities grant scheme, a £1.2 million government fund that is supporting the celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Centenary in seven cities and towns in England with a strong suffrage history - Bolton, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester and Nottingham. The curation of the LDN WMN artworks has been supported by Jack Arts, The Southbank Centre, Network Rail, Alexandra Palace, The Village Underground, and The Old Truman Brewery.

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