BBC BREAKFAST: Statues of women

It was a cold and early start. I joined ArtUK Director Andrew Ellis on BBC Breakfast last Friday (1 July 2022). An enthusiastic Naga and Charlie asked us lots of questions about the project, public art, and the lack of representation of women in statues. If you remember, Naga convened the unveiling of Emmeline Pankhurst in Manchester in December 2018.

We were in Harlow, the town of public sculpture, to celebrate the digitisation of 13,000 pieces of outdoors public art across the UK, including my Emmeline Pankhurst, Sir Nigel Gresley, Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy and the Cracker Packers.

Analysis of the data shows that 78 percent of public sculpture commemorating or depicting real people were of men, with only 17 percent of women and less than 2 percent of people of colour – see the Art UK article here by Katey Goodwin who undertook the analysis. The Guardian follows up in an article on Friday – here.

ArtUK is a fantastic art education charity, that I have worked with on getting schoolkids engaged with sculpture.