PROCESSIONS: Living artwork to celebrate 100 years of votes for women
DIVA spoke to queer artist Rudy Loewe ahead of the mass-participation artwork celebrating women
PROCESSIONS 2018 © Artichoke
Fancy taking part in PROCESSIONS..? One of the UK’s largest ever mass participation artworks will take place simultaneously across the four UK capitals on Sunday 10 June 2018, marking one hundred years since the first British women won the right to vote.
Women and girls (including trans and non-binary folk) are invited to register to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime living and breathing artwork which will celebrate a historic moment for gender equality, and create a dramatic portrait of women in the 21st century.
Exactly 2 months until #PROCESSIONS2018 in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh & London. Join us to create a huge participation artwork celebrating 100 years of women voting. Make sure you register and help spread the word by sharing this tweet! https://t.co/DL06dcDPRU 💚💜💚💜 @1418NOW pic.twitter.com/YxS8AtuF7j— PROCESSIONS2018 (@processions2018) 10 April 2018
On 10 June, participants in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London will walk together in their tens of thousands. Given green, white or violet to wear, to represent the colours of the suffrage movement.
Standing for “Give Women Votes”, they will together appear as a vast river of colour flowing through the city streets.
Banner-making workshops for #PROCESSIONS2018 are now in full swing! Jess de Wahls, one of @artichoketrust’s 10 commissioned artists, ran an inspirational workshop today with @4refugeewomen at @TheBrekkyClub in Hoxton, with Marchu Girma. We can't wait to see the banner! @1418NOW pic.twitter.com/gDTNEquoWe— PROCESSIONS2018 (@processions2018) 24 April 2018
At the heart of each procession will be specially created banners, echoing those carried by suffrage campaigners.
DIVA: Hello Rudy, thanks for chatting to us! How long have you been involved in illustration?
Rudy Loewe: I've been working as an illustrator/comic artist for the last six years, but I studied illustration before that and have always been drawing! I grew up in a home where everyone was always drawing, so it seemed pretty normal that I would want to keep doing it.
And what inspired you to create queer illustrations?
I think it’s really important that as queer people we're able to shape the representations of ourselves and document our legacies. In my work, I want to share stories that highlight the nuances of queer experience and resist the stereotypes often created. I'm interested in finding the ways that queerness intersects with other experiences such as disability, race and class.
Why do you think it's important to bring attentions to those intersections?
When I make my work I'm often thinking about not perpetuating the single story. The gay, hegemonic narrative is white and male, so its super important to me as a black queer artist, that I find ways to share stories that other kinds of queer people can relate to.
I find it exciting to draw images of the kinds of people I want to see, people who I would want to meet, and the queer people I know and love. I also really enjoy working with history and finding out about queer people through history as part of my work. I worked with the historian Dr. Gemma Romain to make queer history comics and I think it's a great way for people to learn about our histories.
How did you get involved with PROCESSIONS?
I was contacted by Artichoke who are running the PROCESSIONS project. I was really interested in their perspective around the history of women getting the vote, which acknowledges that not all women were given the vote 100 years ago. The project is also open to trans women and nonbinary people, which I think is really important.
Can you tell us a little about Womankind Worldwide who you'll be working alongside?
Womankind Worldwide is a global women’s rights organisation, working with feminist strategies to support and strengthen women’s movements. They partner with organisations around the world. I hadn’t known about Womankind Worldwide before the start of the project. So it was really nice to meet them and work with them on the banner!
And finally! Have you started making the banner for the PROCESSIONS event in June?
We started making the banner earlier this week, which is exciting! There’s still a lot of work to do, but it was great to meet with the group and see how we can collaborate!
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