Diminutive in scale, Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere by Gillian Wearing, is a bronze maquette (small working model) for a larger sculpture of the suffragist and feminist leader, Millicent Fawcett, that was commissioned in 2017 for Parliament Square. In Fawcett’s hands is a banner with the words ‘Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere’ referencing words she wrote in 1913 after the death of Emily Wilding Davison, the British Suffragette who fought for equal voting rights for women. In 2018, Wearing commented on the subject of her sculpture:
I wanted her to hold a banner with the words ‘courage calls to courage everywhere’ – a fabulous and generous rallying cry and one she wrote in respect of Emily Wilding Davison who was killed by the King’s horse at Epsom Derby. Fawcett admired the Suffragettes but did not believe in civil disobedience. In this quote she both acknowledges the ultimate sacrifice of Davison as well encouraging us to think of the selfless acts of others.
[The Art Newspaper, 24 April 2018]
Unveiled on 24 April 2018, Wearing’s sculpture was the first public monument of a woman, and the first created by a woman, in Parliament Square. Wearing was commissioned in 2017 by the Mayor of London with 14-18 NOW, Firstsite and Iniva, to create a new work that commemorated the Centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. This historic legislative Act of Parliament included voting rights for some women over the age of 30.
Gift of maquette for sculpture by Gillian Wearing from Maureen Paley / artist. Sculpture commissioned by the Mayor of London with 14-18 NOW, Firstsite and Iniva to commemorate the Centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, through the Government’s national centenary fund.
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