Shopping centre unveils colourful Emily tribute

Newminster and Chantry pupils unveil some of their Suffragette artwork, which are approved by their teachers and Sanderson Arcade staff.
Newminster and Chantry pupils unveil some of their Suffragette artwork, which are approved by their teachers and Sanderson Arcade staff.

ARTISTIC school pupils have put together some colourful creations as part of the town’s tribute to Emily Wilding Davison.

The fantastic pieces of art reflecting the green, purple and white of the Suffragette movement make up the latest eye-catching display to be installed along Sanderson Arcade’s Edwardian gallery.

A group of Year 7 students at Newminster and Chantry Middle Schools and Technology Colleges have been learning about Emily’s life and working on their own artwork projects which reflect the Suffragette movement in Edwardian times.

Banners displaying Suffragette slogans as well as large-scale teapots and umbrellas made out of wicker and tissue are among the artworks which have been put in pride of place at the Arcade for shoppers and visitors to enjoy. The pupils have used fabric, beads, silk, wicker and tissue to make their impressive pieces.

Centre Manager at Sanderson Arcade, Medi Parry, said: “We’ve had some great feedback from our customers about the changing Arcade features and we are delighted to have the opportunity to join with the rest of the town in paying tribute to this remarkable woman.

“I hope the children have enjoyed taking part in the project – we’re certainly very proud to have their fantastic artwork on show and hope our visitors enjoy looking at the fabulous display as much as we have.”

Emily Davison is known around the world for what was to be her final protest for women’s rights when she stepped onto the course at the 1913 Epsom Derby and was struck by the King’s horse Anmer.

She suffered massive injuries and died four days later in Epsom Hospital.

On June 15, her body arrived by train at the railway station in Morpeth, where huge crowds gathered to watch the funeral procession as it made its way through the town to St Mary’s Churchyard where she was buried in the family grave.

Local artist Elaine Porter and teacher Jill Woolley have been working with the pupils on the project over the last six weeks in a weekly two-hour art session.

Jill, who is Creative Arts Subject Leader at Chantry and Newminster, said: “We were delighted to be given this opportunity to create large-scale pieces of art for such an event as the centenary and thrilled to have it displayed in the elegant Sanderson Arcade.

“It has given the pupils the chance to work on a wide variety of techniques alongside local artist Elaine Porter and they have loved being involved in this exciting project.”

The centre displays a different theme every month along the gallery and Suffragette coloured drapes and bunting were installed earlier this month.

The bunting was made by Emma Scott’s business. She organises fund-raising events in Morpeth for Oxfam GB as part of its initiative linked with International Women’s Day.

Her activity for 2013, a zipwire at Morpeth Rugby Club, grossed over £9,000 and this was the highest amount out of all the charity’s Get Together events in Britain.

She said: “The centre asked if we could do some bespoke bunting for them and I was delighted to help as I have already worked with (Emily Inspires! project director) Penni Blythe-Jones on some of her events.

“I also felt that coming off the back of the Oxfam event, it was quite fitting that we could help decorate the town in the Suffragette colours.”