Statue of suf­fragette Em­me­line is a step closer to square

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Paul Brit­ton

IT’S our Em­me­line – and she’s a step closer to tak­ing pride of place in the demo­cratic heart of Manch­ester once more.

Sculp­tor Hazel Reeves’ land­mark tribute to the iconic suf­fragette leader has fi­nally been fin­ished in clay, with the process to cast her into bronze now due to start.

Balanc­ing on a chair with one hand out­stretched, de­mand­ing votes for women at a rally, Em­me­line will stand proud in St Peter’s Square from De­cem­ber.

Hazel, who has spent eight months craft­ing the work in her West Sus­sex stu­dio, said: “It’s been an ex­haust­ing yet ex­hil­a­rat­ing process.

“But when I needed some ex­tra en­ergy I just thought of Em­me­line and bor­rowed a lit­tle of her courage and de­ter­mi­na­tion.

“I felt such a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­duce a statue that would make Em­me­line proud and make the peo­ple of Manch­ester proud.

“It’s a great feel­ing to see things start­ing to re­ally come to­gether, to see Em­me­line com­ing to life in the stu­dio be­fore my eyes.

“It will be amaz­ing to have Em­me­line back in Manch­ester, in­spir­ing new gen­er­a­tions of women to rise up and de­mand their rights and de­mand equal­ity.”

The statue’s cre­ation has been a painstak­ing process – Hazel started work in Jan­uary.

A bronze ma­que­tte – a smaller, guide statue – came first be­fore the cre­ation of a metal out­line frame­work onto which more than half a tonne of clay was moulded.

In­tri­ca­cies in­cluded Em­me­line’s fa­mous coat and trade­mark hat.

The chair she will stand on has now also been com­pleted in clay.

A rub­ber mould of the clay work will now be made be­fore the cast­ing process be­gins.

A life model has also been used by Hazel for au­then­tic­ity, par­tic­u­larly with Em­me­line’s hands and other fea­tures.

A stone cir­cle, in­clud­ing a wall which says ‘Rise Up Women’ in St Peter’s Square, in­side which the 8ft statue will sit, was unveiled on what would have been Moss Side­born Em­me­line’s 160th birth­day in July.

The grand un­veil­ing op­po­site Manch­ester Cen­tral Li­brary is set for De­cem­ber 14 – mark­ing the cen­te­nary of the first time women voted in a Bri­tish Gen­eral Elec­tion.

Em­me­line will face out to­wards the Free Trade Hall, a venue for rad­i­cal suf­fragette cam­paign­ing in the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies and which in 1868 hosted the first pub­lic meet­ing ad­dress­ing the is­sue.

Af­ter a pub­lic vote on a short­list of 20 leg­endary Man­cu­nian women, Em­me­line was se­lected as the female most de­serv­ing of a per­ma­nent me­mo­rial.

The fin­ished clay statue of Em­me­line Pankhurst and, be­low left, sculp­tor Hazel Reeves

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