‘Suffrage in Stitches’

WelCom August 2021 After exhibiting in Wellington, Suffrage in Stitches exhibition is showing at Te Manawa Museum, Palmerston North, until 12 September. Suffrage in Stitches developed through a partnership between…

WelCom August 2021

‘Suffrage in Stitches’ Archdiocese of Wellington
Suffrage in Stitches – panel section. Photo: Amber-Jayne Bain

After exhibiting in Wellington, Suffrage in Stitches exhibition is showing at Te Manawa Museum, Palmerston North, until 12 September.

Suffrage in Stitches developed through a partnership between Vinnies Re Sew – a socially inclusive, sewing studio run by St Vincent de Paul Society, Wellington – and Wellington Museum. It provides over 500 people the opportunity to hang their art in a gallery space and includes leading figures from throughout Aotearoa – but mostly people from diverse cultural backgrounds, ages, generations and skill levels.

The 300-metre textile work remembers people in our history who up and down this country signed a petition so women could have the right to vote. It also depicts women who have influenced the 546 makers. 

Caroline O’Reilly of Vinnies Re Sew, said ‘[The work] started as a collective exhibition and has emerged as a sharing of history, connection of people and an amazing feeling of togetherness, which I imagine the petitioners felt back in 1893. It shows how craft-based ideas can bring people together from multiple backgrounds, communities and generations to celebrate stories from the past while creating fascinating and moving stories in the present.’

Since the project began in 2018, many stories have surfaced about intrigue, poverty, hope, crime, and resilience. The complete catalogue of panels and stories are online: www.suffrageinstitches.nz