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About the Work

Emily Davison in her desire to secure votes for women was often jailed for her confrontational behavior. On Census Night she hid in a broom cupboard in Parliament so she could claim her abode as the House of Commons. When she was given a prison sentence she always awarded herself a Prison Medal with Bars, which she then wore publicly to annoy the Royal Family (especially Queen Mary) and the Government. At the 1913 Derby, Emily Davison threw herself in front of the King's Horse and was killed. On her tombstone is written Deeds not Words.

Here is Emily Davison after she has added another bar to her Prison Medal.

Mother

The women I portrayed in this work were role models for my mother, Muriel. Together they make up her personality and like her they had charisma and chutzpah.
Muriel, a war-widow's daughter, left school at 12 to bring some money into her poverty-stricken family. Hardly able to read and write, she sold programmes and did odd jobs at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. When she was 14 she was talent-spotted. Beginning as a hoofer in a chorus line, she became a lead dancer and singer with the stage-name Muriel Melford in a long-forgotten musical at the Prince of Wales called Bonjour Paris.
When she was in that show she met her future husband, my father. He was an Oxford-educated schoolmaster over twice her age. He introduced her to a middle-class world of unfamiliar concepts such as politics, ethics and causes. Muriel took notice. Married and back in the Midlands she spoke up about what were embarrassing issues in the provincial England of the 1940s and 50s - pacifism, the abolition of the death penalty and the sexual liberation of women.

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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