A new light sculpture celebrating the fight for women’s votes is to be unveiled at the medieval Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament, London, today – 150 years to the day the campaign began.
New Dawn, a six-metre high light sculpture by artist Mary Branson is also the first piece of abstract art commissioned for permanent display in the Palace of Westminster. Celebrating those who fought to win women the vote, New Dawn is located above the entrance to St Stephen’s Hall, the site of many suffrage demonstrations as well as the route used for women coming to deliver petitions and lobby MPs.
The large scale of piece is intended to reflect the size of the suffrage campaign, and the unique hand-blown glass scrolls that make up its dawning sun reflect the many individuals who were involved in the movement and the special contribution they made to modern democracy.
From 29 June to 1 September, visitors to Westminster will also be able to see 50-metre long contemporary artwork The Ethics of Dust. The translucent latex cast of Westminster Hall’s east wall contains hundreds of years worth of particles of dust, soot and dirt gently lifted from the wall during the sensitive cleaning process and suspended from the magnificent 28-metre high hammerbeam roof. Commissioned and produced by Artangel, this temporary art installation was created by artist, architect and conservationist Jorge Otero-Pailos, who have both worked in parallel with Parliament’s restoration and stone cleaning project over a period of five years.
Entry to see New Dawn and ‘The Ethics of Dust from 29 June is free but tickets should be booked in advance. Alternatively, visitors will be able to enjoy both artworks on a tour of Parliament which include the House of Commons, House of Lords and Westminster Hall