LDN WMN is a series of eye-catching public artworks across London from 18 October. These have been created by women and non-binary artists, inspired by unsung women heroes from the city’s history.
Visit LDN WMN: a series of free public artworks
About LDN WMN
Discover LDN WMN artworks with our interactive map
Find artworks across London
Find North LDN WMN
Kings Cross station finds Manjit Thapp’s work dedicated to WWII heroine Noor Inayat Khan. From here, you can either head to Gospel Oak to see art inspired by campaigners Esther Roper and Eva Gore Booth (Rudy Loewe), or visit iconic Alexandra Palace to see Carleen De Sozer’s work celebrating broadcaster Una Marson and musicians Evelyn Dove and Winifred Atwell. Lakwena will also honour the courageous pilot, Amy Johnson at Cricklewood Station in the coming weeks.
Find East LDN WMN
Wind your way through East London to find Jasmin Kaur Sehra’s tribute to Mala Sen on Brick Lane or Joey Yu’s dedication to the suffrage movement of East London at Village Underground. In Walthamstow, you will find street artist Pang’s mural dedicated to Madge Gill. In Liverpool Street station, you will find Stephanie K Kane’s floor vinyl tribute to educationalist Irene Ho Tung, while at Redbridge Library you can see Jacob V Joyce’s dedication to Caribbean campaigner, Joyce Guy. In Canning Town, you can head to Community Links to see the large, bright work dedicated to trade unionist Adelaide Knight by Caroline Cardus.
Find Central LDN WMN
Central London artworks celebrate the lives of pianist Dame Julia Myra Hess (C J Mahony's) and Joy Miessi’s bright celebration of the thousands of women who helped rebuild Waterloo Bridge during WWII at Southbank. Discover an artwork to honour Islington’s first black Mayor, Valda James created by her granddaughter Phoebe Collings-James. Head to Victoria for Sokhanvari’s tribute to Marion Dorn, a six-metre-long carpet inspired by the original colours used in the Suffrage movements in the US and UK, where Dorn lived.
Find West LDN WMN
Head to Portobello Road to visit the site dedicated to lesbian rights activist, Jackie Forster, in this contemporary work by Soofiya. In Hammersmith, artist Susi Disorder has created a four-sided piece inspired by campaigner Lolita Roy exploring her political activism in Britain and India. Down the road in Paddington, Heather Agyepong opens up a lesser-known side of Seacole’s life in a self-portrait referencing her use of herbal remedies.
Find South LDN WMN
Head to Deptford to see work inspired by women’s rights campaigner and trade unionist Rosa May Billinghurst created by artist Shadi Al-Atallah. Located opposite Deptford station the work reflects both her campaigning spirit and her connection to the community. In Brixton, you’ll find a site dedicated to the co-founder of the Brixton Black Women’s Group, Olive Morris. Artist Rene Matic has created a pair of clenched fists – the same height as Morris herself – by way of tribute. Head on to Sutton to find Julia Vogl’s pop art tribute to Pauline Boty while artist Mamamanvz takes over Croydon boxpark as she brings ICA founder, Jane Drew to life.
The artists and their artworks
The artwork - (Glass Atrium, opposite Hammersmith Town Hall entrance )
Susi Disorder celebrates the life and work of Indian suffragette Lolita Roy, using multi-layered imagery to reflect on her role within reform movements of the early 20th century. Roy was an indisputable force. She was a key organiser of the 1911 Women's Coronation Procession – a 40,000-strong suffragette march through London. She served as the president of the London Indian Union Society and raised funds for Indian women's education.
Disorder's four-sided piece explores the role Roy played within the broader suffrage movement. Roy has been superimposed over Kew's damaged tea pavilion which was set fire to by a pair of suffragettes in 1918. There's also glimpses of the Royal Pavilion of Brighton, which was used as a wartime hospital for Indian soldiers, whose welfare Roy campaigned for. Gómez Larrañaga says the inclusion of the building reflects on Britain's colonial influence, while its distorted imagery hints at the violence the building's “exoticised” architecture concealed.
Roy was born in Calcutta however she spent much of her life in Hammersmith after moving to London in 1901.
Disorder has taken over a large cube structure outside Hammersmith Town Hall, a site chosen for its changing light conditions, which will expose different layers of the piece throughout the day and night.
With thanks to Hammersmith Council for the site.
Susi Disorder or Susana Gómez Larrañaga works with digital generative processes, time-based media and site-specific installations. Fascinated by derelict sites and their entropic assemblages, her work investigates the material intricacies of “undead” data legacies through processes of decay. She has exhibited at TATE Britain among other galleries in the UK, Spain and Poland.
The artwork - (Above 221 Portobello Rd, Jack Arts until 1 November 2018)
To celebrate journalist Jackie Forster, artist Soofiya took inspiration from Jackie’s LGBTQ rights activism. “I didn't see myself as being a lesbian, or her, because I didn't look as I imagined they did, nor did she,” said Forster, of the representation of gay women. “We weren't short back and sides and natty gent's suiting.” Using this quote as a foundation, Soofiya reflects on the depiction of lesbians in mainstream media and art, but also the absence of women of colour from the conversation.
The wall piece is created in vivid colours, drawing on the tradition of Mughal paintings. It recalls Forster's childhood in India, and hopes to offer the same “radical, bold and brave message” that the activist spread through her work with the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.
As one of the founders of Sappho – the UK's longest-running lesbian publication – Forster held editorial gatherings in The Chepstow pub. Now closed, the pub was located just around the corner from the Portobello road site, where Soofiya's piece can be found.
The space has been provided by Jack Arts – an independent creative out-of-home agency specialising in the arts and culture space. Jack Arts crafts bold and unconventional campaigns that cause a welcome disruption on the street and runs UK-wide poster schemes as well as one-of-a-kind specialist builds, murals, installations, ambient and experiential campaigns.
With thanks to Jack Arts for the site.
Soofiya’s art practice and writings aim to articulate a commentary on gender non-conformity, race, politics and bodies through a DIY and therapeutically informed approach.
Soofiya currently lectures at Ravensbourne University and works as designer and artist for a variety of arts, cultural and activist organisations.
The artwork - (Concourse that runs along Platform 7, Victoria Station until 30 October 2018)
As the woman behind TfL's original seat pattern and influential designer contributing to the interior design of Claridges, the Savoy and the Queen Mary, Marion Dorn's artistic influence continues to be felt across London, today.
Soheila Sokhanvari has created a 6-metre long carpet in a pattern reminiscent of Marion’s TfL design and shards of stained glass. Its jagged shapes recall the suffragettes' window smashing, shattering windows in offices and shops across London to gain public and media attention for their campaign. The piece also draws on ancient techniques developed to decorate Iranian palaces from broken glass from Venice in the 15th century. “In both scenarios, the violence inflicted on the glass produced something positive, be it beauty or female emancipation,” says Sokhanvari.
Sokhanvari's piece sits on a busy concourse at Victoria station, not too far from Dorn's Chelsea apartment – where she lived with poster designer Edward McKnight Kauffer. Around 85 million visitors use Victoria each year, connecting London with Gatwick Airport, the Underground Buckingham Palace and the London Eye.
With thanks to Network Rail for the site.
Soheila Sokhanvari is a British/Iranian artist, whose multidisciplinary work weaves layers of political histories with strange, humorous and mysterious narratives in magic realist form. She is drawn to events and traumas that linger in the collective consciousness or cause mass amnesia, telling the collective narrative through the story of the individual.
The artwork - (Kings Cross Station, middle of the station by announcement boards until 29 October 2018)
Manjit Thapp’s illustration celebrates Noor Inayat Khan. Noor was Britian’s first female wireless operator sent into occupied France, and the country’s first female Muslim war hero. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian decoration, for her service in the Special Operations Executive, having been captured and executed in 1943.
"I wish some Indians would win high military distinction in this war,” said Khan. “If one or two could do something in the Allied service which was very brave and which everybody admired it would help to make a bridge between the English people and the Indians.” Thapp's piece celebrates not just Khan's bravery, but also her status as a woman of colour during the war. Patterns, textures and drawings are overlaid in a collage style that references various elements of Khan's experiences.
About the location
Thapp's piece is located not far from Khan's Bloomsbury family home, taking over a busy thoroughfare at King’s Cross. The station opened to passengers on 14 October 1852, designed by Lewis Cubitt to be simple and functional, however Kings Cross has developed throughout the 20th century to become a significant transport hub.
With thanks to Network Rail for the site.
Manjit Thapp is an illustrator whose work combines digital and traditional media and revolves around female characters that often have an air of mystery and silence. Thapp sets out creating artwork seeking to evoke a particular feeling or atmosphere for intepretation by the viewer. She illustrated her first book ‘The Little Book of Feminist Saints’ for Penguin Random House in March 2018.
The artwork - (Old Truman Brewery until 31 October 2018)
Drawing on the bright colours and contrasting type of vintage Bollywood posters, Jasmin Kaur Sehra's mural celebrates the life of Indian-British writer and activist Mala Sen.
Sen was a lifelong campaigner for women's rights, dedicated to improving conditions in the East End. She was an active member of the British Asian and British Black Panther movements and through her novel, India’s Queen Bandit, raised awareness of the victimisation of women in rural India in 2001. Sehra has incorporated elements not just from Sen's own life, but from the lives of those she sought to change. Look out for birds and butterflies within the piece – chosen as symbols of freedom.
Sen was particularly active in the East End of London, exposing the poor conditions of Bangladeshi sweatshop workers who often had to share beds in dormitories, as they didn't qualify for accommodation. She played a key role in establishing the Bengali Housing Action Group, which helped turn Brick Lane into a safer, more welcoming area for the Bangladeshi community. In response to this, Sehra's artwork takes over a busy part of the pavement not far from the Old Truman Brewery.
This area is not just steeped in history; it is also the centre of East London’s arts and media quarter. The Old Truman Brewery has been sensitively regenerating its ten acres of vacant and derelict buildings that formerly made up the world’s largest brewery. Now established as a cultural destination in its own right, it’s home to a plethora of creative businesses; with independent shops, galleries, markets, bars and restaurants as well as spectacular office and event spaces.
With thanks to The Old Truman Brewery for the site.
Jasmin Kaur Sehra’s work merges vibrant and nostalgic graphics with Bollywood typography, an approach typified by her ‘Bollyhood Series’. Passionate about identity, empowerment, self-love and positivity, Jasmin amalgamates her Punjabi heritage and interest in fashion and arts to form her own artistic storytelling through illustration, typography and design.
The artwork - (Hardback Café Wall, Redbridge Central Library until April 2019)
Jacob V Joyce uncovers the story of local hero Joyce Guy, who played a pivotal role in the Redbridge community. As the founder of the Melting Pot group in Ilford, she produced charitable and cultural events and provided support for older Caribbean residents who'd moved to England from the 1950s onwards.
Jacob V Joyce's piece is inspired by conversations with Redbridge residents and Guy's own celebration of her history and culture. Stretching across an entire wall of the Redbridge Library, the portrait incorporates words from Guy herself, as well as details that reflect on her life's work. Accompanying this, the artist has created a pamphlet recounting her story, and celebrating her contributions to the local community.
In 2002, Redbridge Museum staged an exhibition about the history of homes in Redbridge. The Museum worked with Melting Pot to recreate a local Caribbean 1960s 'houseshare' kitchen and lounge. This is reflected not just in the content of Jacob V Joyce's piece, which shows Guy in front of a West Indian living room, but also in its location on a wall of the library's Hardback Cafe.
With thanks to Redbridge Library & Museum for the site.
Jacob V Joyce uses missing images or narratives as a starting point for their work, depicting people or events that have been largely undocumented through history. In these instances they see their work as a process of repairing gaps in our shared visual landscapes and nourishing ground for the many narratives that have been neglected by mainstream society to grow and flourish.
The artwork - (Posters, music, live performance at Charing Cross Station from 21 October until 1 November 2018)
CJ Mahony celebrates Dame Julia Myra Hess's morale-raising wartime concerts in this multi-media artwork. For six years without fail, the British pianist organised weekday lunchtime concerts to raise London's spirits during World War II. In total, she staged 1,860 showcases to “give spiritual solace to those who are giving all to combat the evil”.
Mahony's intervention in Charing Cross Station will offer Londoners a moment of contemplation away from their usual commute. Pianist Hannah Quinn will appear for a special live performance at the station, playing pieces by Beethoven and Mendelssohn that Hess would have chosen for her own performances.
As part of her six-year-long mission to boost morale, Hess played to vast audiences, including crowds of people in Trafalgar Square – which is located not far from Mahony's Charing Cross piece. The station was built on the site of the famous Hungerford Market, opening in 1864. One year later, Charing Cross Hotel was built, giving the station an ornate French Renaissance style frontage. Located in the City of Westminster, Charing Cross accommodates 42 million passengers a year.
With thanks to Network Rail for the site.
CJ Mahony makes large immersive environments that seek to unsettle and small scale objects that mimic and pretend. She is interested in intense audience experiences and digging over untidy narratives, working both in gallery settings and in site-responsive commissions.
The artwork - (Community Links, Canning Town until 15 December 2018)
As secretary of the first London branch of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), Adelaide Knight fought for women's suffrage and was arrested and imprisoned in 1906.
Cardus's artwork revolves around a statement Knight made after her arrest, while under pressure to give up campaigning to avoid prison. “I refuse to barter my freedom to act according to my conscience while my health permits me to fight on,” she said. The artist sets this statement over the green, white and purple of the suffragette movement, honouring Knight's own experience as well as that of disabled people everywhere.
“Adelaide's words felt current and vital to me personally,” says the artist. “And I also believe they have a powerful resonance with events happening to people today.”
Cardus's artwork is located in front of the old town hall in Canning Town – which was home to the first branch of the WSPU in London, and currently the main hub of social action charity Community Links, which has been based in Newham for 40 years.
Community Links’ vision is for groups of people to support one another to overcome problems, prevent them from occurring again, help each other to thrive and achieve their goals. Knight played a pivotal role in the area and has been described by the East End Women's Museum as “one of the most important figures in the east London women's suffrage movement at the turn of the century.”
With thanks to Community Links for the site.
Caroline Cardus makes text-based pieces that explore the power of language, driven by a fascination with how words can be used to subjugate, be subverted, or used to assert power. Familiar formats like signage may be subverted in order to be brought under the control and narrative of the artist’s own agenda. Her ongoing experience of disability also forms a core theme of her work.
The artwork - (East Wing, Alexandra Palace until 2019)
Carleen de Sözer celebrates the life and work of three black women with a trio of street art works. Each of these women had a significant cultural impact in the UK and yet, they remain unknown. Marson was a Jamaican feminist who produced poems, plays and radio programmes, often supporting women's rights and raising awareness of racism. She became Jamaica's first female editor in 1928 and travelled to London to work for the BBC, which included producing the hit Caribbean Voices radio show.
Atwell and Dove were both musicians, with Atwell becoming the first black artist to have a number one hit in the UK and to sell a million records. Dove was a member of the Southern Syncopated Orchestra – a group of British West Indian and West African and American musicians – and had a successful career with the BBC through the 1940s. De Sözer has blended photorealism with modern street art to create black and white portraits of each of these women, highlighting the tools of their trade – microphones and piano keys – in gold.
De Sözer's pieces take over the exterior walls of the former BBC studios on the south Terrace at Alexandra Palace which, in 1936, began broadcasting the world’s first public regular analogue high-definition television service. Built as the People’s Palace in 1875, the seven-acre Grade II-listed building is one of London’s most iconic destinations.
From the advent of Victorian leisure time through to the development of theatre, cinema, television and live events, Alexandra Palace continues to be central to the fabric of London.
With thanks to Alexandra Palace for the site.
About the artist
Carleen De Sözer is widely regarded as one of London’s most skilled and diverse aerosol and airbrush artists and her work can be seen across the city. Her most popular murals to date include Golden Utopia, You Have The Keys, Golden Era Hip Hop Raised Me and Grime Lords. De Sözer is also prominent on the international art scene with her Afrocentric, Afrofuturistic pieces.
The artwork - (The Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth St until 1 November 2018)
Heather Agyepong explores a lesser-known side of Mary Seacole's life, with a self-portrait that celebrates this famous nurse's use of herbal remedies. Seacole believed in traditional natural medicine, which she learned about from her mother in the Caribbean.
Agyepong has focused not just on Seacole's compassion and dedication, but also her bravery. “Her fearlessness in defying the socio-economic boundaries laid at her feet are inspirational to other marginalised communities who feel silenced in today's world,” says the artist. In her piece, Agyepong reimagines herself as Seacole, wandering through Epping Forest in search of herbal remedies to help the wounded – a reflection not just on the nurse's life's work, but also on the importance of clean air and open spaces in London.
Agyepong's work takes over a wall at the Cockpit theatre in Marylebone, not far from Paddington where Seacole passed away in 1881. The Cockpit theatre is an example of 1970s Modernist architecture and the only purpose-built theatre-in-the-round in the south east.
As well as performances, the work Cockpit create explores the Theatre of Ideas and Disruptive Panache: work that has something different to say and an exciting way of saying it. It also presents contemporary music events, kids’ shows, classes and professional development courses, including its new Theatre Maker strand.
With thanks to the Cockpit Theatre for the site.
Heather’s practice is concerned with mental health and wellbeing, activism, the diaspora and the archive. She uses both lens-based practices and performance with an aim of creating a cathartic experience both for herself and the viewer. She uses the technique of re-imagination to engage with communities of interest and the self as a central focus within the image.
The artwork - (Cricklewood station, installation date TBC)
Lakwena’s typographic wall piece (launching in November) celebrates Amy Johnson – the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930. It was just one in a string of records she set, inspired by the biplanes she saw taking off and landing at Stag Lane aerodrome in north London.
Although most female pilots in the 20s and 30s were wealthy, Johnson worked as a typist before gaining a ground engineer's C license. Lakwena takes the pilot's 'Queen of the Air' nickname, given to her by the British press, recreating it in bright colours. The piece hopes to capture the mythical nature of the aviator's life and entice Londoners to explore Amy’s story further.
Lakwena's piece will be seen at Cricklewood station, filling it with colour and pattern celebrating Johnson's 14 years living in the area. The aviator lived locally and was honoured with an English Heritage blue plaque in 1987.
With thanks to Govia Thameslink Railway for the site.
Lakwena Maciver is a multidisciplinary artist of mixed Ugandan and British heritage. She is best known for her iconic murals painted around the world, both within gallery settings and in the public realm. Maciver uses acid-bright colour and bold typographic statements to subtly subvert prevailing mythologies. Her work has featured in cities including London, Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Vienna.
The artwork - (The Peel, Islington until 1 November 2018)
Phoebe Collings-James celebrates the work of Valda James, the artist's grandmother and the first black woman elected to Islington council in 1986, before becoming Mayor of Islington two years later.
Part of the Windrush generation, Jamaican-born James came to England in 1961, where she raised her children alone – an experience that later informed her work on the Social Services committee. Collings-James' portrait represents not just her grandmother's career achievements, but also her perseverance in the face of the racism and sexism of the time and her own nerves in public speaking.
The photograph of the 91-year-old James is taken in her Islington home, alongside text from an interview. “I remember her telling me that even when she was in that privileged and well-earned position of Mayor, she didn't believe she deserved to be in the room,” says the artist. “It is an important reminder to me as a black woman artist to always have the confidence to know that I deserve to be heard. I want that message to be heard by many.”
Collings-James' piece celebrates the cultural impact left by James on the Borough and is located close to the estate where she lived all her life. It’s emblazoned on the exterior of The Peel, which is home to a charity dedicated to building a connected community in Clerkenwell since 1898, running activities for adults, children and young people, as well as mental health awareness projects.
With thanks to The Peel for the site.
Phoebe Collings-James creates work in different media that explores the poetics and emotional detritus of violence, identity and desire. Grown in London via Jamaica, her practice is intentionally sprawling, focussed on the process of becoming bodied. Her work has featured as installations at the Studio Museum Harlem, Palais de Tokyo, Arcadia Missa and Wysing Arts Center.
The artwork - (opposite Gospel Oak station, Jack Arts until 1 November 2018)
Rudy Loewe’s series of illustrations explore the lives and relationship of Irish poet Eva Gore-Booth and suffragette Esther Roper, political activists and partners that worked together to campaign for women's rights.
Both were committed campaigners and highlighted the struggle for women's rights in industry and for their right to vote. The pair also established and edited Urania, a sexual politics journal that challenged ideas of heterosexual marriage, sex, and gender distinctions. Gore-Booth met Roper in 1896, and the two remained together as lovers and political campaigners until Gore-Booth's death in 1926.
Loewe has focused on both their activism and relationship with a playful piece that borrows the visual language of cartoon strips. The wall-sized comic captures key elements from the pair's lives, from their suffragette campaigning to their final resting place, together, in Hampstead Cemetery.
Set in Gospel Oak, this piece is located close to Roper and Gore-Booth's shared grave in Hampstead Cemetery. The space has been provided by Jack Arts – an independent creative out-of-home agency specialising in the arts and culture space.
Jack Arts crafts bold and unconventional campaigns that cause a welcome disruption on the street and runs UK-wide poster schemes as well as one-of-a-kind specialist builds, murals, installations, ambient and experiential campaigns.
With thanks to Jack Arts for the site.
Rudy Loewe is a visual artist working with drawing, painting and printmaking. They are a storyteller who takes complex ideas and narratives, drawing them out into more accessible and digestible formats. Using comedy and satire, Rudy’s work subverts dominant power structures and starts difficult conversations around intersectionality. The themes of racism, gender, sexuality, disability and mental health are all integral to Rudy’s practice.
The artwork - (1 Windrush Square, Black Cultural Archives until 26 November 2018)
Rene Matic’s clenched fists stand five feet, two inches high – the exact height of activist Olive Morris. A founding member of the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD) in London, Morris spent her life campaigning for British people of colour in London and Manchester – where she set up the Manchester Black Women's Cooperative and Manchester Black Women's Mutual Aid.
The 1970s saw Morris take part in feminist, black nationalist and squatters' rights campaigns, and this activist past, as well as her membership of the British Black Panther Movement, is powerfully represented in this piece. The work is inscribed with a poem written by the artist about Morris. “I like the idea of people having to negotiate and weave through this forest of Olivia Morris power in order to enter the building,” she says. “They stand as a reminder to those who turn a blind eye, and a comfort to those who need a hand.”
Matic's piece is located in the courtyard of the Black Cultural Archives, in Brixton, which is the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.
It was founded in 1981 by educationalist and historian Len Garrison and others. The Brixton building opened in 2013. It enables access to the archive collection, provides dedicated learning spaces and delivers a programme of exhibitions and events. Morris lived much of her life in South London and had a particular impact in Brixton, where she set up the Brixton Black Women's Group.
With thanks to Black Cultural Archives for the site.
Rene Matić makes work that explores the intersections of her own identity as a queer woman of colour, aiming to expose, combat and question power relations and structures within the art world and society more widely. Working across genres, her work brings to light (or dark) the fated conflicts and contradictions that one encounters while navigating the world in a body like hers.
The artwork - (Trinity Square, Sutton High St until 5 November 2018)
Julia Vogl honours Pauline Boty's role as a founder of British Pop Art with a vibrant, contemporary floor piece.
As one of the few female painters in the pop art movement, her often subversive work celebrated femininity and sexuality and wasn't afraid to question the patriarchy. Despite her success in the 1960s, Boty's work was largely neglected until the 1990s when it was rediscovered and rescued from the Kent barn it had been stored in. However, many of her paintings remain lost, including her much sought-after 'Scandal '63'.
Vogl reflects on Boty's role as a key figure in 1970s feminism with an artwork that reflects the playful nature of the artist's work, while encouraging Londoners to explore the piece, and Boty’s legacy, further.
The piece mixes together different techniques including data visualisations, word search, and codified geometric patterns in bright contrasting colours to reflect the facts about her life and career that reference Boty's Pop Art style.
Vogl's piece takes over a square on Sutton High Street, as a tribute to Boty's South London birthplace. It's also close to the Wimbledon College of Arts, known as the Wimbledon School of Art when Boty won a scholarship, aged 16. It was there that her tutor, Charles Carey, encouraged her to explore the collage techniques which would go on to influence her paintings.
With thanks to Sutton Council for the site.
Julia Vogl has an international practice. She makes social sculpture, drawings and prints that engage both with site and community. Public commissions include work with a pretzel trolley in Krakow, a cemetery in Bristol, a school in Hong Kong and a car park in Virginia. Her work deals with social themes encompassing home, finances, death, identity, protest, mental health and, more recently, immigration and freedom.
The artwork - (Belvedere Road, Southbank Centre until November 2018)
Joy Miessi’s painted wall piece pays tribute to the largely forgotten women that built Waterloo Bridge, which was completed in 1945 after six years of work.
While it's widely known that women worked in shipbuilding, aircraft manufacture and munitions during the Second World War, their contribution to the construction industry is less recognised. By mid-1945 an estimated 45,000 women were building new factories and houses, as well as carrying out essential work in London, such as the rebuilding of Waterloo bridge.
Artist Joy Miessi seeks to remember the efforts of these women with a mural that rescues them from anonymity. Each circular figure in her piece represents an arch of Waterloo Bridge and is inspired by archival photography of the female construction workers that rebuilt it. The piece is in Miessi's recognisable style, with blocks of colour representing structure, river and sky. Surrounding pieces of text and observational drawings reference the conditions of the time, while letters at the bottom of the piece ask Londoners to keep these forgotten stories alive.
Miessi's artwork is situated on the side of the Southbank Centre, which is directly connected to Waterloo Bridge and the legacy of the female construction workers that built it. It’s a dynamic area at the heart of London’s cultural scene and home to world-class arts venues the Southbank Centre, National Theatre, and BFI film theatre. The tree-lined riverside walkway, filled with restaurants and historic pubs, stages frequent fairs and events.
With thanks to the Southbank Centre for the site.
Joy Miessi translates moments, conversations, feelings and intimate thoughts into mixed media works. Through abstract shapes, figures and written musings, Miessi utilises a range of processes to compose pieces that make reference to the duality of everyday life in the UK and her Congolese heritage.
The artwork - (Shoreditch Art Wall, Great Eastern Street, Village Underground until the end of 2018)
East London played an important part in the suffragette movement, home to several branches of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), and later the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS) which focused on working women's rights.
The group – headed by Sylvia Pankhurst, daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst – led the campaign to improve pay, working conditions and housing, amongst other issues. As well as hosting huge meetings, benefit concerts and parties, they marched through east London, using a group of supporters to defend them from the police. After the First World War, they helped distribute milk, open a children's clinic, nursery school, and canteens that served affordable food. Artist Joey Yu celebrates the women of east London with her artwork – a wall piece emblazoned in suffragette colours and celebrating the movement's fearless philosophy.
In tribute to the work of east London’s suffragettes, Yu's piece takes over one wall of Shoreditch's Village Underground – a space for creativity and culture in the heart of the area. It’s a renovated turn-of-the-century warehouse, ready for everything from concerts and club nights to exhibitions, theatre, live art and other performances.
With thanks to Village Underground for the site.
Joey Yu creates work in a variety of media that explores the way we interact with our environments. Using reportage drawing and live performative drawing pieces, Yu asks questions such as who are the people that pass us everyday, what stories do they carry with them, and can we learn to lean in and listen to them? Her practice is a way of provoking conversation, remembering and discovering herself in new scenarios.
The artwork - (Inside Croydon Boxpark until 1 November 2018)
Mamamanvz's series of posters focus on architect Jane Drew's impact on the architectural field, particularly the representation of women in a male-dominated industry. She designed social and public housing in England, becoming a leading exponent of the Modern Movement in London, as well as working with Maxwell Fry and Le Corbusier to design the capital of Punjab, Chandigarh.
Drew made a point of only employing women when she first opened her own office – influenced by the many rejections she'd received by architecture firms that didn't hire women. She also later helped establish the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Mamamanvz's piece focuses on Drew's “unapologetic nature”, with a set of portraits of the architect. These incorporate architectural patterns from a Chandigarh secondary school designed by Drew, as well as a clear statement of who she was a modernist, architect, author and feminist.
Mamamanvz's sets of poster portraits will be located around Box Park Coydon in reference to Drew's Croydon birthplace, as well as the early years of her education in the area. Boxpark Croydon centres around 80 shipping containers serving up a smorgasbord or great flavours as part of its aim to revitalise Croydon's changing social and dining landscape.
With thanks to Box Park Croydon for the site.
Mamamanvz creates work that explores her journey of identity and self-discovery as a young British Asian female-identifying artist, negotiating the divide between a traditional cultural background and modern lifestyle, using bold colours and working in a wide range of mixed media. She finds inspiration in boundary-breaking artists working in all fields influences including M.I.A., Frida Kahlo and Missy Elliott.
The artwork - (Opposite Deptford Station, Jack Arts until 1 November 2018)
Shadi Atallah’s artwork remembers the legacy of suffragette, Rosa May Billinghurst. Born in 1875, Billinghurst was left unable to walk after a childhood bout of polio and used a hand-propelled tricycle to get around and during suffragette marches. She was an enthusiastic campaigner for women's rights, founding the Greenwich branch of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) was particularly concerned about working conditions for the poor.
In 1910, a particularly violent demonstration saw police target Billinghurst because of her disability. After having had her wheelchair and its wheels removed, Rosa bravely returned to the protest the very next day. Atallah's wall piece is based on simple yet dynamic digital concept drawings of the suffragette. “My choice are playful and at the same time, purposefully chosen to speak out on serious issues that Billinghurst fought for,” says the artist.
Atallah’s mural takes over a wall opposite Deptford Station, close to where Billinghurst worked on a voluntary basis with workhouses in the area, as well as with local children. The space has been provided by Jack Arts – an independent creative out-of-home agency specialising in the arts and culture space. Jack Arts crafts bold and unconventional campaigns that cause a welcome disruption on the street and runs UK-wide poster schemes as well as one-of-a-kind specialist builds, murals, installations, ambient and experiential campaigns.
With thanks to Jack Arts for the site.
Shadi Al-Atallah creates life-sized paintings - distorted self-portraits that explore the intersections of mental health, queerness and racial identity. They are mainly inspired by spiritual practices, family history and their childhood in Saudi Arabia. Their ‘Catharsis’ series explores ‘healing’ as a concept, and examines the relationships between mental health, the body and spiritual practices.
The artwork - (outside McDonalds, Liverpool St Station until 1 November 2018)
Stephanie K Kane pays homage to Irene Ho (also known as Irene Cheng), the first female undergraduate to study English at the University of Hong Kong in 1921.
As well as pursuing her education at King’s College and the University of London, Ho established the Chung Hwa School in Poplar which has been recognised as the first Chinese supplementary school in London. It offered Anglo-Chinese children the chance to learn more about their language, heritage and culture.
Kane’s piece is a freestanding portrait of Ho surrounded by floor illustrations of hands. These symbolic hands nod to a quote from Ho, “Gather all the learning you can from your teachers. Study to serve humanity, hand over your knowledge to others.”
Kane’s piece dominates a busy walkway at Liverpool Street Station. It is pink and orange to symbolise survival and hope. The station is a short journey from Limehouse, where Ho established the Chung Hwa School. Opened in 1874 as a replacement for Bishopsgate station, London Liverpool Street station was designed to integrate with the growing London Underground network. Today, it is Britain’s third busiest station after Waterloo and Victoria, serving around 64 million passengers a year.
With thanks to Network Rail for the site.
Stephanie K Kane works with a range of mediums, but predominantly in oil, crayon and digital. Her work is autobiographical in nature, and designed to provoke conversation or a breakdown of the norms governing how artists and artworks are treated and received. Stray memorable sentences such as ‘your hands are ugly’ may form the starting point of a piece. In 2015, Kane won Young Start-Up Talent 2015, an incentive for young entrepreneurs.
Madge Gill was born in Walthamstow in 1882. A self-taught, visionary artist, she created both meticulous and monumental artworks, skilfully exploring different techniques and formats including paints, inks and textiles. Although relatively unknown at the time she is now considered a prolific and powerful artist.
The mural artwork is inspired by Madge Gill’s iconic free flowing drawing techniques. Using mainly black and white, her visionary drawings often feature women’s faces surrounded by fluid repetitive patterns of checkerboards, grids and stairways.
Wood Street Walls collaborated with Works by Madge Gill to paint a giant portrait of the Walthamstow based artist on the side wall of a business on the busy High Street, opposite her newly erected blue plaque.
This artwork is the third annual commission from Wood Street Walls as part of the Pick Your Pattern programme, helping celebrate an underappreciated creative trailblazers. For this artwork, the community was asked to choose from 3 designs, shared at the Walthamstow Garden Party and Online. The project has received over 750 votes both online and offline.
Pang lives and works in London, painting both in the studio and around the city. Most of her work can be found in London, and she has painted walls across Europe. Exploring themes of psychology, mass social behaviour and the human condition, pang’s work contains a humorous narrative that vividly expresses her morbidly curious nature, and the more awkward questions regarding social facade, the inner-self and humanity’s constant struggle between the two.
Amy Johnson © Popperfoto via Getty Images
Amy Johnson © ullstein bild via Getty Images
Dame Myra Hess © Felix Man via Getty Images
Evelyn Dove © ullstein bild via Getty Images
Jackie Forster © Popperfoto via Getty Images
Joyce Guy courtesy of Annita Campbell
Lolita Roy © Museum of London
Madge Gill © Paul Popper, Popperfoto via Getty Images
Marion Dorn © Horst P Horst via Getty Images
Mary Seacole © Universal History Archive
Olive Morris – Lambeth Archive
Pauline Boty © Michael Ward via Getty Images
Rosa May Billinghurst © LSE
Una Marson © Fred Ramage via Getty Images
Valda James with artist granddaughter Phoebe Collings-James in 1988 courtesy of the James Family
Winifred Atwell © Popperfoto via Getty Images
Noor Inayat Khan courtesy Shrabani Basu