Smashing Through The Glass Wall - A Celebration of Women's Running
Smashing Through The Glass Wall - A Celebration of Women's Running
A celebratory signed open edition print featuring just SOME of the amazing women who have worked so hard to carve out space for the rest of us to enjoy running and competing in organised races.
A large part of the making of this work involved a lot of research into the unbalanced opportunities within the world of competitive running (and don’t even get me started on the social & cultural issues that self identifying women face when they run in public! That rant is for another day)
Some of the MANY amazing facts that I have learnt are:
The sports bra was invented in 1977, it was initially formed from two mens jock straps stitched together! (Ugh, I hope they washed them first!)
It was this which opened up running to a much broader range of women who were previously too uncomfortable to run/partake in more physical sports.
Before the 1980s, there were no women's distance races in the Olympics.
It was genuinely thought of as too ‘dangerous’ for women to run longer than a couple of hundred meters.
In 1928 women were allowed to run the 800 metres but due to some alleged ‘fake news’ reporting and some sort of cover up it appears that several women fainted during the race so they instantly banned women again until 1982!!!
Violet Piercy from London was supposedly (there is some dispute/issues with the record of which route she ran) was the first woman to be officially timed in a marathon, when she clocked a time of 3:40:22 in a race on October 3, 1926.
The fastest woman in the world of all time’s recirds from the 1980’s still stand
I remember thinking she was a total GODDESS as a child when I saw her on the TV, Florence Griffith Joyner (aka ‘Flo-Jo’) was amazing!
She died tragically in her sleep from an epileptic seizure aged just 39 years old.
The amazing world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 m and 200 m STILL stand and she did it whilst looking SO cool too!
Go and Google her right now and be in awe of her 80’s style, nobody else was racing with length false nails and snazzy one legged/hooded lycra suits!
I could go on because I’ve learnt so much, I’m sharing some of what Ive learnt as a booklet/identification key with my sources and some further reading links that will accompany the print though so if you’re inspired you can see where to seek out more info.
Why are the women running on London’s Tower Bridge though when they aren’t all marathon runners or from the UK?
Right, so this print feels EVEN more special to me because I’m donating every single penny from each one to the charity Breast Cancer Care, it’s to accompany the half marathon I’ve somewhat naively signed up to attempt to run/walk on March 10th. I was inspired to attempt to go from couch to half marathon in 17 weeks after my amazing Mum’s breast cancer diagnosis in Autumn 2018.
The race I’m going to be a part of is half of the famous London Marathon route and I will be running over the bridge so it felt like a great postcard to use as inspiration.
The original postcard is from approximately 1905, I collage digitally in order to preserve the original which is now safely tucked away as part of my ever growing collection of hundreds of vintage Edwardian and Victorian postcards from around the world.
You can read more about my reasons for doing this and in addition to purchasing this print you are also welcome to sponsor me via the Virgin Fundraising page too (i’ll be manually adding the funds raised from this print onto there too)
Also if you can think of anyone you know who might have an interest in either supporting me/Breast Cancer Care or has an interest in women’s running history then please do feel free to send them in this direction.
If you follow me on Instagram CLICK HERE (opens in new window) you’ll be able to keep up to date with how I get on. To say I am nervous is an understatement!
The link to my fundraising page is here if you’d like to donate and not purchase this print (You’re very welcome to do both as every penny will still go to Breast Cancer Care)
Each print also comes with a further reading booklet and an identification key so that you can learn a little bit more about some of the women featured in the work.
I’m aiming to send out this print in the weeks after the race (when I’ll definitely be resting) which will give me time to finish editing the information booklet, there’s more interesting information to add in then I’d initially realised!
if you would like your order sooner I’m very happy to send out the finished print first and the booklet afterwards, just let me know in the notes of your order or via the contact form on my website.
Available in A4, A3, 16 x 24 Inch and 20 x 28 inch
The two larger sizes are printed outside of my studio so please allow up to 7 week days for these works to be printed to order. As I ease into selling larger works I will begin to amass stock so it’s always worth messaging me via the contact page if you’re in need of work by a specific date, if I can speed things up for you I will.
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HISTORIAL COLLAGE FLOATS MY BOAT!
I'm a big lover of social history, which still makes me chuckle because at school I really did not enjoy studying history at ALL!
I'm not sure when the shift happened but I can remember being invited to participate in a group show in 2014 that my lovely friend Daisy was curating about Popular Icons and I began to look at my local history to see who had lived in my home town of Tunbridge Wells that I could use as inspiration. It prompted me to start working with some of my long collected and much treasured vintage local postcards and I spotted some women who's names just jumped out at me so I began to look them up and before I knew it I had fallen down the rabbit hole.
Through my research I realise that they had all made their own mark on Women's History and at that time I couldn't find much online celebrating them so I decided to thank them and make them my own Popular Icons.
I had so much fun researching and creating those works and I'm very grateful that I fell down that rabbit hole because I have since started research folders on a growing number of inspiring women, I am excited to finally begin to celebrate their stories and to have this space to be able to share them with you all.
My work is merely a dot on the landscape of amazing women who deserve to be celebrated.
My starting point when selecting some of the initial women who were a part of the Womens Suffrage movement was to dive into my sketch book under the list in the front titled 'Women I'd Like To Eat Brunch With'.
Yes it's a catchy list huh? Spoiler alert: I will be working on a series of that title soon just you wait and see and I'm very excited by it)
EXTRA: This print will come with a paper print out detailing some of the amazing women featured in this print with some very basic sources to allow you to learn their stories. I will be adding more sources/research as I delve deeper while making more work about some of these and many more inspiring women.
This work serves as a mere introduction and brief of some incredible women. The included A5 further reading booklet is a very brief overview of cut and pasted information and sources, yes there are most likely typos in it but I really wanted to share a leap off point for anyone else who might like to join me in celebrating some awesome women. I know how much I enjoy further reading links so I couldn't bear to not offer any.
If you don't already then sign up below to my studio newsletter & Social Media to be kept up to date with my Women's History series amongst other things.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS WORK
Please allow approx 5 working days turnaround, this allows me to reorder supplies if things get busy and to batch post items. However If you do need an item sooner than that feel free to email me and if I can try to speed your order through then I will.
All prints are sent in a cellophane sleeve on a recycled grey backing board to ensure that they arrive in perfect condition for you.
I also use extra reinforced hardback envelopes for posting to ensure that your artwork arrives to you as intended.
I always send items using Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For unless requested.
I can upgrade your postage to 1st class signed for or next day for a small cost by arrangement via email.