Richard Huish College students are headed to London this Sunday to march for ‘PROCESSIONS’, a nationwide art project spread across the cities of Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London. The event is to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the women’s right to vote in the UK and will see a living moving portrait of women in the 21st century created.

The students will carry with them a banner they have been designing the past couple of months during creative workshops with Somerset Art Works (SAW). Alongside Strode College and Bruton School for Girls, students and staff aimed to create a piece of Textile Art which celebrates collaboration, courage, leadership, commitment and justice in our history.

Led by Artist Dorcas Casey, students were invited to make badges and miniature banners to spark the project and inspire students’ confidence in their Graphic and Textile skills. They then went on to make a large scale bold and beautiful banner to fly in the National Procession on Sunday 10th June.

A unique collaboration of eighteen Sociology and Art and Design students worked together to research and design their banner. With the guidance of Dorcas, students listened, looked and discussed decisions carefully to all agree on their chosen slogan, fabrics, colour palette, hand stitching methods and motifs. Everyone learnt appliqué techniques through the graphic language of the textile banner and took great joy in studying the graphic ephemera designed by suffragettes. The use of fabric and typography struck everyone and the students enjoyed discussing the importance of visual consistency in the graphic language of the suffragette movement. “We want to make a banner which has a traditional composition in a contemporary colour palette. Our aim is to create visual impact and vibrancy, to be sure that our slogan really stands out in the procession”.

Each letter on the banner is subtly different, and has been designed to all work together to be consistent in scale and formation. A further collaboration initiated by the students, brought the construction of the ribbon motif and the final composition together. This motif can be found on Vivary Park gates in Taunton. The fringe brings movement and personality to the Huish Students’ banner.

Throughout the one and half day workshops, all students dedicated their time to their work with a clear engagement with sewing and social history. Their efficiency, commitment, sharing, listening, learning and observation skills shone out throughout the project. Everyone truly immersed themselves in this practical work together; with the support of each other. A real sense of pride and personal achievement in the completion radiated from every collaborating student.

This week everyone prepares to wave their banner proudly through the streets of central London with thousands of others on Sunday 10th June. Please wave a flag of celebration for this monumental achievement on this special day for the past, for the present and for future generations!