Women's History Mosaics taking shape
Posted on Wednesday 29th May 2019
Schoolchildren and community groups are helping a Newport artist to create inspiring artworks for the city centre.
Newport City Council successfully applied for funding from the Heritage Fund for its Women's History project.
Artist Stephanie Roberts is working with pupils and volunteers to make six mosaics dedicated to Newport women including Chartists and suffragettes as well as more recent role models.
Local historian Peter Strong assisted with a research workshop and author Sylvia Mason visited the community groups session to talk about the suffragette movement before the practical work began.
St Michael's RC Primary School have helped to design and make the mosaic dedicated to the public face of women. They learned about the first female Mayor of Newport, Mary Hart.
Pupils from Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon met athlete Natasha Cockram, the winner of the women's race in Newport's first marathon, ahead of their work on the mosaic featuring women in sport.
Pillgwenlly Primary School have been involved in the artwork dedicated to female workers and Peter Strong was able to give them information about Newport's wartime munitions factories and the effect that the pioneering workforce has had on society today.
Members of the public were also invited to meet Stephanie Roberts at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre on International Women's Day in March and share their stories.
Mosaic making workshops have been taking place this spring led by the artist and when the six pieces are all completed they will be unveiled on a wall at St Paul's Walk, near to the commemorative First World War mosaics installed last year.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: "I would like to thank all those who have been involved in creating these artworks and hope they have enjoyed participating in such a fantastic project.
"The mosaics will make a real statement about the role women have played, and continue to play, in the life of Newport."
Councillor Jane Mudd, Newport City Council's cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said: "This is a wonderful project and we're very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and all the lottery players, for making it possible. I'm looking forward to seeing them in the public open space of St Paul's Walk later this year."
Stephanie Roberts said: "I feel honoured to be facilitating this series of mosaics to Newport's women and its people, as Newport is the home to my personal story as a women, mother and working professional. This project has allowed me to reach out to children and adults, men and women sharing stories of women's desires to find freedom, find a fairness to success and empowerment, and discover equality in society, through a process of making together."