Contemporary artist designs eye-catching patches to celebrate 100 years of women having the vote

Contemporary artist designs eye-catching patches to celebrate 100 years of women having the vote

An artist with a penchant for wearable artworks has handcrafted a collection of colourful patches that women, men and children alike can wear to commemorate the legacy of the suffragettes and their bold protests that resulted in women getting the right to vote a century ago.

Jessica Akerman has trained in sculpture and drawing and uses a keen eye for detail and flair for bold, graphic prints to design patches that can be used to adorn and enhance clothing, homeware and accessories. All of her pieces are made by hand in sustainable leather offcuts, cork, embroidery and veneer.

Her latest body of work will highlight interesting characters and facts related to the suffrage movement as well as celebrate the well-known aspects of their campaigns and draw upon the development of early feminism, with a series of patches that will be released individually each month.

Jessica Akerman said:”2018 is an exciting year for women. We’re experiencing a vocal and visible resistance to oppressive notions of gender, sexual harassment and unequal pay. With my centenary suffrage patches, I want to celebrate the bravery and tenacity that these early feminists showed, while also highlighting the need to keep up the fight for equality and essential services – such as women’s refuges and women’s centres, which are under great strain and at risk of continued funding cuts.”

This month’s patch, which was fittingly released on International Women’s Day, has been designed in honour of perhaps the most renowned suffragette – Emmeline Pankhurst, who single-handedly founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903. The all-female organisation used strong, direct action to move on the fight for women’s right to vote.

Future patches will focus on The Great Pilgrimage, Sophia Duleep Singh and hunger strikers, all of which will be released at the beginning of the month.

Keen to ensure that the project not only celebrates historical women but also supports those still fighting for gender equality today, 30% of the sales of the patches will be given to three local charities, all tackling diverse issues related to female gender and identity.

Birthrights protects human rights in childbirth, Bradford Women’s Aid is a refuge for women and children escaping domestic abuse and Gendered Intelligence provides gender diversity support services for young people.

For more information about Jessica Akerman and to view her work visit: