The Blackwell Arts & Crafts house presents Unearthed
Unearthed is a vibrant installation of oversized paper wildflowers representing ten extraordinary women by Kendal-based visual artist Amy Williams.
The installation unearths hidden or lesser-known stories of women from Cumbrian history, who through their skill, dedication and compassion brought about positive social change.
Bold and theatrical, the installation takes visual inspiration from the flora and fauna found in Blackwell’s historic Arts & Crafts interiors, creating a larger than life indoor botanic garden.
The intricate wildflower sculptures, made from a colourful array of papers from the Vanguard collection, pay homage to each of the women. The women remembered in this exhibition lived very different lives, in different eras, but are united by the common thread of wanting to make a difference to their world.
For me it feels important to be able to shine a light on these extraordinary women and to commemorate their lives through this visual medium. I’m pleased we’ve been able to coordinate the exhibition to run across Women’s History Month, especially given this year’s theme of ‘Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.Amy Williams, Artist
The exhibition runs until 4 June 2023.
May Bowness (Feverfew- medicinal properties) A working class woman from the Langdale valley, who helped the local community with their medical needs.
Sal Madge (Ground thistle- strong and robust, the centre like the rays of a sun) – Female Collier from Whitehaven who broke gender stereotypes. A local heroine, greatly loved by her community.
Theodora Wilson Wilson (Mullein – shaped like a spear) A Quaker and pacifist who wrote The Last Weapon, an anti-war novel published in 1916 and banned a year later for promoting peace!
Winifred Langton (Globe Flower - shaped like the sun, associated with warmth and positive energy) Avid campaigner and activist, who fought for social justice. She raised so much money for medical aid to Vietnam that she was invited to the opening of the hospital she helped to equip.
Betty Kirkland (Hayrattle, leaves like saws) Joined the Women’s Land Army in 1940 doing work on behalf of the Forestry Commission. Over her lifetime she planted thousands of trees.
Muriel Sauer (bindweed, climbing flower) A pioneering female climber in the 1940s, and founding member of the Keswick Mountain Rescue team.
Margaret Fell – (dandelion seed head - Mother of Quakerism) Founder of the Religious Society of Friends and known popularly as the ‘mother of Quakerism’.
Annie Garnett – (mallow – similar to the hollyhock) One of the first northern female entrepreneurs, designer and fabric expert employing over 100 craftspeople in ‘The Spinnery’ from 1891 to 1914.
Ann Macbeth (thistle – symbol of over coming adversity and difficult situations) A British designer and educator, renowned for her Art Nouveau style of embroidery. She was also an active suffragette.
Mary Fair – (rambling rose, exploring nature - wandering the countryside) A multi-talented woman. A historian, archaeologist, photographer, motorist and specialist in X-Rays and radium science.