Suffrage in Stitches: the Exhibition

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Video interview with Caroline O’Reilly (Vinnies Re Sew)

546 Makers, 300 metres long, 500 fabrics, 27,000 individual hand stitches.

A new exhibition has opened in Flux at Wellington Museum. Suffrage in Stitches matches the length of the original Suffrage petition and consists of 546 individually designed and stitched fabric panels (reflecting the number of pages in the petition). They tell the stories of those who signed the petition or those relatives who have influenced the 546 makers. The work includes the names of the 546 women and over 27,000 hand-stitched marks, one for each signature on the petition, along with multiple surface decoration techniques.

Honouring the ‘ordinary’ women (and men) who signed the 1893 Suffrage petition, only a handful of makers were professional artists and some had never sewn a stitch before. Created in workshops run by St Vincent de Paul’s Vinnies Re Sew, this project provided a platform for people of all abilities and backgrounds to meet and create.  View an article in Stuff about the project.

Enjoy the first hanging of this astounding fabric artwork at Wellington Museum, in partnership with Vinnies Re Sew, and stitched by many to commemorate the Suffrage Petition and to celebrate women’s stories past, present and future.

Below is an interview Caroline O’Reilly from Vinnies Re Sew who gives us an insight into how the Suffrage in Stitches Exhibition came to be. Also images from Merrilyn George’s family working on their panel.

Flux at Wellington Museum/ Friday 2 August – Sunday 31 August/ 10AM-5PM

Merrilyn George's family