PROCESSIONS

We were honoured to be part of PROCESSIONS, a public artwork taking place in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and London and celebrating 100 years of women getting the right to vote. A group of women from our different programmes made a beautiful banner with tutor Sandi Kiehlmann, and some of them carried it in the streets of the Scottish capital on Sunday 10th June. One of these artists, Morag Macgilchrist, tells us more about her experience.

"I attended the PROCESSIONS march on Sunday 10th June with other members of Project Ability. I had been a part of the group who had made the banner and wanted to see it carried though Edinburgh. When we arrived at the starting point at The Meadows, the park was already full of groups, mostly of women and girls and banners, lots of banners. These were not just the words on a pillowcase you see at concerts or protests, these were hand-crafted, stitched and took hours to make. Some were huge, even bigger than our large one. Others were smaller but no less well crafted. Many children carried their own handmade works, drawings on canvas and small flags were popular.

We were asked to form queues behind a series of large flags, each with a colour, purple, green and white, the suffragette colours, in order to receive a scarf to wear. We went to one of the purple queues. Our queue ended up being last to leave, making us at the end, which also meant they were giving away all the leftover scarves and many people were able to get two or three colours. Some people braided three together which looked great. I had purple and white.

Eventually we were on our way following the procession through the old town past the National Museum and over the bridge onto Princes Street before crossing back over and down Royal Mile. We then walked past the Scottish Parliament building and into Hollyrood park where there was a piper and a samba band. The weather was wonderful all day, dry and warm but not too hot. I wasn't carrying our large banner but the two ladies who were said that a few gusts of wind catching it at times were the only difficulty they had and that heat and weight were not an issue. I did wear one of our two smaller banners that hung from my neck, along with my scarfs giving me a full colour pallet. It was a great day and an honour to be involved in marking this historic even with something that in turn may be remembered historically itself."
-Morag Macgilchrist

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