‘Celebration of Strong Women of Govan – Action and Procession’
Govan's Hidden Histories Project
‘Celebration of Strong Women of Govan – Action and Procession’, is part of ongoing creative projects led by t s Beall about Govan's Hidden Histories celebrating Govan's heritage and women's roles in protest movements.
Geraldine worked with local women's group Bead 'N' Blether at The Portal for Plantation Productions to create a new set of banners for the walk and public action event in November 2013.
The banners are a representation of the group's values and ethos, drawing parallels between these strong women of Govan today, and some of their predecessors from the past. The group were inspired by some of Glasgow Museums women's histories banners shown by museum staff at The Burrell Collection conservation rooms and by a variety of subjects relating to this strand of the Hidden Histories project, such as Mary Barbour, the role of women in the UCS work-in, and the activities of The Co-operative Women’s Guild.
The story of The Cooperative Women’s Guild really struck a chord with the group, and there are obvious parallels to draw between the aims and progression of that organisation, and in Bead ‘n’ Blether’s ethos and development. The Women’s Guild no longer has the visibility it once had, so perhaps Bead ‘n’ Blether is one of a newer breed of cooperative, self organised groups, which meets the challenges faced by women within communities today in a more relevant and accessible way.
The design of the banners reflect the style and aesthetic of Women’s Guild Banners from the early 20th Century: they use simple text, symbolism and detailing typical of the Co-operative movement at the time. The colour palate chosen represents Govan's socialist movement through the use of red and black, and the suffrage movement with purple and green.
The beehive symbol on one of the banners represents enterprise and co-operation, and the clasped hands symbol is apt, showing unity as strength.
For more about the project read Geraldine's blog post on the Govan's Hidden Histories website by clicking the link below.