What's on Parliament In The Making Banner Gift 21 January 2016 marks the day we can proudly announce that the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act banner, created by artist Jason Wilsher-Mills, has been gifted to the Shape Collection. The banner was one of two works Jason was commissioned to make for 'The Beginnings of that Freedome' exhibition at Westminster Hall in 2015, which marked a year of events commemorating the emergence of the House of Commons and democracy since the sealing of Magna Carta 800 years ago. Shape Chief Executive Tony Heaton OBE said, We were delighted to hear that Jason had been awarded such a prestigious commission by the House of Commons, and as an organisation which supports disabled artists, always felt the 1995 DDA banner had a special significance for us. To then receive the banner as a gift into the Shape Collection is a great honour, especially in the year that we mark our 40th anniversary, and we look forward to sharing it with the public as both Jason and the banner's commissioners intended. Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, said: I am thrilled that Shape Arts has been selected to receive the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act banner. As an organisation that is committed to promoting Disability Equality and Disability Arts, Shape Arts is a deserving recipient. Having been on public display in Parliament’s Westminster Hall throughout 2015, it is fantastic that the banner will now hang in Westfield Stratford, as part of the Shape Collection, for Londoners and visitors to the city to see! For more on Jason Wilsher-Mills and his work please click here For more on the Shape Collection, and a full image of the 1995 DDA banner, please click here Banner image: Cropped detail from the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act banner. Created by Jason Wilsher-Mills for the 2015 Parliament In The Making Programme. Commissioned by the House of Commons with the support of The Speaker's Art Fund. Full Press Release and other links below: Parliament gifts original commemorative banners to organisations across the UK Following the culmination of the Houses of Parliament’s year-long banner exhibition ‘The Beginning of that Freedome’, which formed part of the 2015 anniversaries programme to commemorate 750 years since the Simon de Montfort parliament (1265) and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta (1215), on Thursday 21 January the artworks will be gifted to organisations across the UK. Through a year-long programme, entitled ‘Parliament in the Making’, Parliament brought these important anniversaries to life in various ways – through cultural and education projects, art commissions, conferences, talks, debates, ceremonial events, and learning resources. ‘The Beginning of that Freedome’ exhibition featured 18 large-scale banners, created by nine artists, providing a contemporary interpretation to complement the historical subjects. It ran from 20 January – 12 December 2015, in Westminster Hall, during which time it was seen by an estimated 750,000 people. Covering 800 years of constitutional history, each banner provided a dynamic visual representation of milestone ‘moments’ demonstrating how the UK has built a powerful system of civil rights and representative government. Now that the public exhibition has finished, following an open call for applications, the banners will be given to appropriate organisations. Through gifting the banners people will have opportunities to see and interact with them, in a variety of locations across the UK, on an ongoing basis. OVERVIEW OF Banners AND THE ORGANISATIONS SELECTED TO RECEIVE THEM Background information about why these organisations have been selected and how they will display the banners can be found below. 1215 Magna Carta: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives 1265 Simon de Montfort parliament: Lewes Town Council (East Sussex) 1601 Poor Law: Bidston Avenue Primary School (Merseyside) 1628 Petition of Right: Brunel University London (Middlesex) 1647 Putney Debates: St. Mary’s Church, Putney (London) 1689 Bill of Rights: Mid and East Antrim Council (Mid and East Antrim) 1771 Wilkes: Freedom of Speech and Parliament: Lincoln Castle (Lincolnshire) 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade: Westminster City Council (London) 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives 1832 Great Reform Act: Nottingham Castle (Nottinghamshire) 1833 Factory Act: Quarry Bank (Cheshire) 1834 Tolpuddle Martyrs: Shire Hall, Dorchester (Dorset) 1838 The People’s Charter: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives 1897 Foundation of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS): joint ownership and partnership between the National Football Museum (Manchester) and the National Federation of Women's Institutes (England, Wales, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Mann) 1965 Race Relations Act: School of Law, University of Leeds (Leeds) 1967 Sexual Offences Act: Thurston Community College (Suffolk) 1995 Disability Discrimination Act: Shape Arts (London) 2015: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives The Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, said: "Over the past eight centuries the public and their Parliament have shaped society and changed the way we live our lives. The sealing of Magna Carta in 1215 and the Montfort parliament of 1265 marked the start of the journey towards modern rights and representation, paving the way for the House of Commons and democracy as we know it today. “Our ambition for 2015 was to capitalise on these anniversaries in order to raise awareness and understanding of the UK’s democratic heritage and, in doing so, to encourage the public to better value our current parliamentary democracy. I am proud that ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome’ exhibition banners will continue to be seen by thousands of people across the UK – in museums, castles, churches, universities, schools and civic buildings – for many years to come. We hope that, through interacting with these unique pieces of art, the public will feel more closely connected to Parliament and more confident to exercise the liberties that the banners celebrate.” The Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza, said: “Magna Carta established the principle of the rule of law and equality before the law; for 800 years we have been influenced by its contents and it remains one of the most important political documents in the world, with countries such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada tracing constitutional influences back to Magna Carta. “How fitting it is that as Parliament’s year-long programme of commemorative activities concludes by gifting the banners commissioned for the ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome’ exhibition to a wide range of organisations. It is hoped that they will help to encourage communities across the UK to continue exploring law and law-making as it was in the past, how it works today, and how it might change in the future.” Parliament will retain four banners in the Parliamentary Archives: ‘1215 Magna Carta’, ‘1829 Catholic Emancipation Act', ‘1838 The People’s Charter’, and ‘2015’. Nine artists from around the UK were commissioned to create the banner images, with support from The Speaker’s Art Fund. They were: Maria Amidu, Alinah Azadeh, Ross Birrell, Ruth Ewan, Rachel Gadsden, Joel Millerchip, Ross Sinclair, Paula Stevens-Hoare and Jason Wilsher-Mills. Online resources, providing historical background information for each banner, and insights into each artists’ approach to their commissioncan be found by clicking the following link: parliament.uk/2015-banners-exhibition Background information regarding the selection of banner recipients and how they will display the banners: 1215 Magna Carta: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives 1265 Simon de Montfort parliament: Lewes Town Council (East Sussex) Lewes was the site of Simon de Montfort’s victory over Henry III. That battle ultimately led to Montfort calling a ground-breaking Parliament in January 1265, to which Lewes itself sent two burgesses. The banner will be hung in the Corn Exchange, alongside wall panels that tell the history of Britain’s long struggle for individual and collective freedoms and human rights, which were originally produced by the British Library for its ’Taking Liberties’ exhibition in 2008/09. The Corn Exchange currently has more than 30,000 visitors each year. 1601 Poor Law: Bidston Avenue Primary School (Merseyside) The banner artwork’s themes speak to a number of the school’s values, including friendship, respect and equality. The banner will hang in the school hall for pupils, parents and members of the local community to see. 1628 Petition of Right: Brunel University London (Middlesex) The Petition of Right of 1628 is one of England's most famous and influential constitutional documents, setting out restrictions on non-parliamentary taxation, imprisonments without trial, the unlawfulness of martial law and forced billeting of soldiers. The banner links closely to Brunel University’s academic studies of Politics, History and Law. 1647 Putney Debates: St. Mary’s Church, Putney (London) For 12 days in November 1647, at the height of the English Civil War, soldiers and officers of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army, and civilian representatives known as the Levellers, held a series of extraordinary debates in Putney on the constitution and future of England. These debates, held in St. Mary's Church, paved the way for many of the civil liberties we value today. 1689 Bill of Rights: Mid and East Antrim Council (Mid and East Antrim) There are significant ties between Northern Ireland governance and the 1689 Bill of Rights. The banner will be on permanent display in the Braid Centre, in Ballymena, for the people of Antrim and surrounding areas – as well as visitors and tourists – to see. 1771 Wilkes: Freedom of Speech and Parliament: Lincoln Castle (Lincolnshire) Lincoln Castle has recently undertaken a £22million restoration of the building, which dates from 1068 and houses Lincoln’s 1215 Magna Carta. The aim of the refurbishment was to open up the buildings, revealing their history, and to provide a fitting home for Magna Carta and its sister document the 1217 Charter of the Forest. The banner will be displayed in Lincoln Castle, where it will be seen by an estimated 250,000 visitors this year. 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade: Westminster City Council (London) The banner features the signatures of abolitionists Ignatius Sancho and Vassa/Equiano, both of whom have strong connections with the City of Westminster. The Council also holds records relating to both men, as well as to other abolitionists, including Granville Sharp and William Wilberforce. The banner will hang as a centrepiece in Westminster City Council’s Archives Centre Search Room, for the public – both from London and further afield – to see. 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives 1832 Great Reform Act: Nottingham Castle (Nottinghamshire) In 1831, the people of Nottingham were furious with the residing Duke of Newcastle who had openly declared his opposition to the Reform Act. Rioters set fire to Nottingham Castle, reducing it to a burnt out shell. The Great Reform Act, which was passed a year later, met some of their demands for wider political representation and thus paving the way for further reform. This banner represents the desired outcome of the Nottingham rioters. It will be displayed in the new permanent Rebellion Gallery, which will be open to the public from 2020, for visitors to the castle to see. 1833 Factory Act: Quarry Bank (Cheshire) As one of Britain’s earliest and most complete industrial heritage sites, the Mill was a primary source of inspiration to the artist, Joel Millerchip, when he created the banner artwork. The story presented at Quarry Bank is not just the history of the Mill, but also the story of all the mill workers – both adults and children. They aim to help visitors understand the difficult and dangerous working conditions the workers faced, on a daily basis, as well as how their efforts changed society and workers’ rights. The banner will be part of the Quarry Bank collection and will also be made available for viewing on the National Trust Collections website. 1834 Tolpuddle Martyrs: Shire Hall, Dorchester (Dorset) Shire Hall is a place of regional, national and international significance, and most of this importance comes from the fact it was the place where the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs took place. The banner will be displayed here from autumn 2017, when the Hall is due to open as a new social justice-focused heritage centre. 1838 The People’s Charter: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives 1897 Foundation of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS): joint ownership and partnership between the National Football Museum (Manchester) and the National Federation of Women's Institutes (England, Wales, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Mann) The National Football Museum has long focussed on the history of women in football, including the world’s first exhibition on this subject in 2005. The Museum is currently developing its learning offer for school groups and local communities in relation to women’s history, as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project to accompany the purchase of the world’s most significant collection relating to women’s football. The banner will act as a central element of workshops for visiting groups. The schools workshop on ‘Women, Football and Society’ is already very popular, and enables pupils to explore ideas around democracy equality and rights. Founded in 1915, the NFWI is the largest women’s organisation in the UK, with over 212,000 members in approximately 6,000 WIs in England, Wales, and the Islands. The banner will be displayed in their residential college, Denman in Oxfordshire, the WI’s Head Office in London, and in their accredited museum, The Tollhouse in Anglesey, which is the site of the first ever WI meeting. It will also be used it as part of their teaching programmes and learning activities. As joint owners of the banner, the organisations will explore joint programming in order to maximise the number of people who can see and interact with the banner. 1965 Race Relations Act: School of Law, University of Leeds (Leeds) The School of Law has a strong and long-standing commitment to promoting race equality and telling the story of Race Equality Legislation. The banner will now hang in the Atrium of the Liberty Building, home of the School of Law, giving the university’s students and guests an opportunity to enjoy. 1967 Sexual Offences Act: Thurston Community College (Suffolk) Thurston Community College is committed to ensuring that its students learn about and experience different lifestyles, beliefs and opinions. The banner will now be prominently displayed for students, visitors and members of the public to see – reinforcing the college’s goal to be an open and accepting community, which is supported by learning in and out of lessons. 1995 Disability Discrimination Act: Shape Arts (London) Shape Arts is committed to promoting Disability Equality and Disability Arts. They have worked with and supported Jason Wilsher-Mills, the artist who created the artwork for the ‘1995 Disability Discrimination Act’ banner, for a number of years. They will use the banner to continue to promote Jason as an artist, as well as promote rights and inclusion in fulfilment of Shape’s organisational mission. The banner will now hang in Westfield Stratford, as part of the Shape Collection, which is seen by an estimated 3,000 people each day. 2015: to be archived in the Parliamentary Archives About Parliament Parliament examines what the Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. The House of Commons and House of Lords each play an important role in Parliament's work. parliament.uk About ‘Parliament in the Making’ Public engagement is a key strategic objective of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. By giving the public the information they need to understand the work of both Houses, and by making the parliamentary process more accessible, Parliament aims to facilitate democratic engagement with the public. ‘Parliament in the Making’ was a year-long programme that brought the Magna Carta and Montfort parliament anniversaries to life. Other anniversaries commemorated: the death of Sir Winston Churchill, Agincourt, Battle of Waterloo, the parliamentary post of Serjeant at Arms and the first Race Relations Act. Over 100 events and projects were delivered by Parliament and our partners, reaching one million people directly. www.parliament.uk/2015 Each of the nine artist created two banners, with support from The Speaker’s Art Fund. Banner themes and artists: 1215 Magna Carta | Ruth Ewan 1265 Simon de Montfort parliament | Ross Birrell 1601 Poor Law | Rachel Gadsden 1628 Petition of Right | Maria Amidu 1647 The Putney Debates | Ross Birrell 1689 Bill of Rights | Ross Sinclair 1771 Wilkes: Freedom of Speech and Parliament | Ruth Ewan 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade | Maria Amidu 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act | Rachel Gadsden 1832 Great Reform Act | Paula Stevens-Hoare 1833 Factory Act | Joel Millerchip 1834 Tolpuddle Martyrs | Jason Wilsher-Mills 1838 The People’s Charter | Ross Sinclair 1897 Foundation of the NUWSS | Alinah Azadeh 1965 Race Relations Act | Alinah Azadeh 1967 Sexual Offences Act | Paula Stevens-Hoare 1995 Disability Discrimination Act | Jason Wilsher-Mills 2015 | Joel Millerchip The artists were selected through an open-call process and were chosen to reflect the diversity of the UK population, as well as representing a variety of art forms. The History of Parliament Trust supported the far-reaching historical research behind ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome’ exhibition. The Parliamentary Archives holds the records of both Houses of Parliament which date from 1497 and makes them available to the public for life-long learning and leisure. For more information visit parliament.uk/archives The exhibition title, ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome’, references a reworked description of Magna Carta by Charles George Cocke in ‘English Law or a Summary Survey of the Household of God on Earth’ (1651): ‘The beginnings of that freedome which the subjects of those times breathed after’. This text features on the 1215 Magna Carta banner, created by artist Ruth Ewan.