MHSG PUPILS GET FIRST GLIMPSE OF POTENTIAL PANKHURST STATUE
Pupils from Manchester High School for Girls, the school that suffragette leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, chose for her three daughters, were given first glimpse of the six creations that have been shortlisted for the statue of Mrs Pankhurst that will be erected in St Peter’s Square in 2019.
The students attended an unveiling event on 27th February at Portcullis House, London as guests of Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, and Andrew Simcock, Councillor for Didsbury East. Councillor Simcock has led the WoManchester campaign since 2014. It will see the first female statue erected in Manchester for over 100 years.
The event saw the six sculptors that have been shortlisted to create the final statue each unveil a 40cm bronze maquette of their vision.
Alongside the 12 Manchester High students, who were all selected based on an interest in art, politics or both, female MPs from the House of Commons were also invited to share their opinions on the pieces and cast a vote for their favourite.
Andrew Simcock, Councillor for Didsbury East commented: “It is well known that the history of Manchester High School for Girls is indelibly linked to that of Emmeline Pankhurst. However, it is clear that her legacy, and that of her pioneering daughters, has not simply been consigned to the history books by the present day pupils of the MHSG.
“Throughout the campaign, Manchester High students have been interested, engaged and enthusiastic; it was only right that they were present at the official unveiling in yesterday. It was a real privilege to hear the thoughts and ideas of such articulate young women who represent a great future for Manchester.”
Tali Fraser, a Junior Sixth student at MHSG from Wilmslow, said: “We were all shocked to learn that out of 17 statues in the city centre, 16 are men. Its high time Manchester had another woman looking over us and I can’t think of anyone better than Emmeline.
“It was an honour to have a role in the process of selecting who will be the lucky sculptor to secure the final commission. It was fascinating for me to speak with the people behind each of the six pieces to learn more about their creative processes and just what it was about Mrs Pankhurst that inspired them.”
The selection committee, headed up by Councillor Simcock and Dr Helen Pankhurst, women’s rights campaigner and great-granddaughter of Emmeline, is expected to announce its final decision in March 2017.
For more details on the shortlisted sculptors and the WoManchester campaign, visit www.womanchesterstatue.org.