Illustration students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have reimagined an iconic piece of work from the 1930s featuring portraits of famous women in history.
The seven talented students have taken inspiration from The Famous Women Dinner Service 1932; a well-known feminist artwork by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant that depicts portraits of famous women in history on dinner plates. The UCLan version features 14 modern British heroines who have made their mark in society.
Chosen heroines include documentary maker and journalist Stacey Dooley, Baroness Brenda Hale, who was the first woman to be appointed President of the Supreme Court and former politician MP Jo Cox who was murdered in 2016.
The New Pantheon Dinner Service will go on display at the Tate Exchange Liverpool from Monday 8 – Saturday 13 April as part of The Famous Women project, which includes workshop throughout the week for the public to take part in.
The 14 women chosen to feature in the Dinner Service were chosen by the Fawcett Society, Girlguiding UK, Walthamstow School Sixth Formers and participants at the Paul Mellon Centre’s ‘Famous Women’ dinner party. The 14th, Jo Cox, was chosen by organisers Dr Amy Binns, of UCLan, and Dr Hana Leaper, of Liverpool John Moores University.
Dr Amy Binns is a senior journalism lecturer at UCLan whose research focuses on how post-World War One pageants allowed women to express their views following on from the radicalism of the suffragettes.
She said: “Women in the 1920s and 30s were trying to create a new history that reflected their new status as citizens. There weren’t many women in the history books they were reading, and they wanted to celebrate the women who had also created Britain. That meant thinking about what values they wanted to honour, and who was worthy to be commemorated.
More information about the exhibition is available at https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool/tate-exchangewebsite.