Hot on the heels of Gillian Wearing’s statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett, the campaign for a memorial sculpture celebrating the foremother of feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft has chosen the artist to create the sculpture.
The Mary on the Green (MOTG) campaign announced the pioneering British artist Maggi Hambling CBE will create the Mary Wollstonecraft sculpture to be placed in Newington Green, London N16.
“I’m really excited at the prospect of realising my idea, inspired by the trailblazer Mary Wollstonecraft. I hope the piece will act as a metaphor for the challenges women continue to face as we confront the world,” said Maggi Hambling.
MOTG Patron Jude Kelly said: “Maggi Hambling, herself a modern legend, is a wonderful choice to capture the spirit and strength of Wollstonecraft.”
The judges were unanimous in their agreement that this is a radical proposal embodying radical ideas. The figure, an everywoman, emerges out of organic matter, almost like a birth. This evokes Newington Green as the birthplace of feminism, and echoes Wollstonecraft’s claim to be “the first of a new genus.” It will be a tangible inspiration to local young people, and will feature her words: “I do not wish women to have power over men but over themselves.”
Bee Rowlatt, MOTG chair, said: “This mould-breaking work of art will provoke debate, which is what public art should do, and which is what Wollstonecraft did her whole life!”