This installation created by artist collective CommonAs for Orchard Gallery, Gunby Hall, presents a contemporary reflection on the life of Emily Massingberd, a leading light in the 19th-century women’s movement and heiress to the Gunby estate.
With the participation of craftspeople and National Trust volunteers, CommonAs have created an installation exploring the life of this remarkable woman. Known for her tireless work in support of temperance and the well being of women, her many achievements include founding the Pioneer Club, one of the first and most influential female members’ clubs, and being one of the first women to run for public office.
The installation will surround visitors in a series of artist made objects brought together as a contemporary reflection of Emily’s interests, passions and opinions. This playful assemblage will offer the visitor the opportunity to consider her unconventionality, energy and motivations. It will incorporate references to the Pioneer Club, Emily’s capacity for subversion and her time at Gunby, created in an intriguing mix of neon, mirror, photography and handcrafted seating, and will include recipe ideas for temperance inspired mocktails created by Gunby volunteers.
Craftspeople contributing to the installation include furniture maker Chris Twigg, artist and neon fabricator Julia Bickerstaff, photographer David Dales and volunteers at Gunby Hall.
The project forms part of The National Trust’s 2018 year-long celebration of Women and Power, marking 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act.
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