Art On The Underground Mark Woman’s Right To Vote Centenary With Year Of Women Artists




A large London-wide exhibition of work by women artists will run across the capital in 2018 to celebrate 100 years since women won the right to vote in the UK, as part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new gender equality campaign.

Wider social inequalities are played out in the structures of urban life” –  said Eleanor Pinfield,

For the first time Art on the Underground, Transport for London’s public art programme, has commissioned a year of work exclusively by women artists, to celebrate the centenary.

The artworks will be visible across the city, at street-level on billboards at Brixton and Southwark, on the cover of over 25 million Tube maps specially designed by Romanian artist Geta Brătescu and French artist Marie Jacotey, and in an ambitious sculptural project on a disused platform at Gloucester Road Station by British artist Heather Phillipson.

Heather Phillipson

Heather Phillipson

With almost six million journeys taken on London Underground each day, the 2018 Art on the Underground programme is designed to bring women’s art to the forefront of public space and help to address structural gender imbalance within the public arts.

“The spaces of our cities are not neutral, and neither is space afforded to public art. Wider social inequalities are played out in the structures of urban life,” said Eleanor Pinfield, Head of Art on the Underground.

“Through 2018, Art on the Underground will use its series of commissions to reframe public space, to allow artists’ voices of diverse backgrounds and generations to underline the message that there is no single women’s voice in art – there are however many urgent voices that can challenge the city’s structures of male power,” she said.

The Mayor’s #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign will see a programme of events run throughout 2018 to celebrate the women from all walks of life who have contributed to making London great.

The campaign will begin just before the New Year, with 12 months of events and activities to celebrate London’s history in the gender equality movement, highlighting the major strides that have been made and raising awareness of the barriers that still exist for women.

Art on the Underground will commission a year-long programme of women artists in 2018, which marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act, enabling all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time.

To mark this, Art on the Underground, Transport for London’s public art programme, has commissioned work by an international selection of women artists with highlights including:

Geta-Brătescu-Doamna

Geta Brătescu Doamna

• A project with British artist Heather Phillipson filling the 80 metre long disused platform at Gloucester Rd.

• A major new billboard commission by British artist Linder at Southwark station

• Tube map covers by Romanian artist Geta Brătescu and French artist Marie Jacotey

• The first commission in a new programme at Brixton station taking the Brixton murals as an initial point of departure, by Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Throughout history, women artists have questioned feminist identities, gender roles and sexual politics to push for social change. The programme will give space to the diverse publics that make up our society, addressing structural gender imbalance which is prevalent in the arts and in particular the public arts.*

“The spaces of our cities are not neutral, and neither is space afforded to public art. Wider social inequalities are played out in the structures of urban life”, said Eleanor Pinfield, Head of Art on the Underground. “Through 2018, Art on the Underground will use its series of commissions to reframe public space, to allow artists’ voices of diverse backgrounds and generations to underline the message that there is no single women’s voice in art – there are however many urgent voices that can challenge the city’s structures of male power.”

The programme will have mass presence across London; at street level on billboards at Brixton and Southwark, on the cover of over 25 million Tube maps, and in a hugely ambitious sculptural intervention on an 80 metre long platform at Gloucester Road Station. There are almost six million journeys taken on London Underground each day, and Art on the Underground’s 2018 programme will put women at the forefront of public space.

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