Suffragettes 'take on the men' thanks to artist inspired by ancestory - The Stratford Observer
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16th Aug, 2022

Suffragettes 'take on the men' thanks to artist inspired by ancestory

SUFFRAGETTES have played a part in stitching up men thanks to a Warwickshire artist.

Former teacher Nicky Cure designed the cover for a book, called ‘Taking on the Men’, inspired by generations of women in her family.

The book, about the first women parliamentary candidates in the 1918 General Election, was written by former MEP David Hallam who approached Nicky to create a modern feminist cover.

Nicky, who taught art at Avon Valley School in Rugby, used her own family history as inspiration for the cover, as well as handwritten letters of suffragettes.

She said: “Artists have to draw their inspiration from so many sources. I’m delighted that some of mine came from the youthful artistic endeavours of my own grandmothers and great grandmothers, living in my own county of Warwickshire.

“I felt it was important to stress the femininity of the subject, but also that femininity requires strength and a certain defiance, which is as true today as it ever was.

“For this I drew on my own ancestry, grandmothers and great grandmothers from both sides of my family. I remember seeing carefully stitched samplers created by them when they were really young girls, I also have drawings and watercolour paintings made by them in their youth.”

The artist used watercolour paint to create a grainy photo effect – something her grandmother was taught.

She copied the handwriting on the letters for the title which she stitched across an image of a crowd of men, using her grandmother’s embroidery silks.

Nicky added: “I liked the idea of obscuring the image of the men through the physical act of stitching, it was quite a symbolic process for what this book is about.”

After achieving a first class degree in fine art, as well as teaching, Nicky has worked on various community art projects including at the RSC in Stratford.

She works in many different media including drawing, painting, photography, digital media and is currently exploring etch-a-sketch and other drawing toys.

Visit www.nickycure.com for more information.

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