Parliament Square was first laid out in 1868, and is home to multiple statues of important political figures from history; big names like Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and the owner of one of the greatest monikers in history: Jan Smuts. But over the course of its almost 150-year history, do you know how many statues of women they’ve had in Parliament Square? Zero. That’s right, no woman in HISTORY has been deemed important enough to go brass toe to brass toe with Jan Smuts. Let that sink in a little.
But that’s all due to change. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced last week that Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing has been charged with creating a statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett, to be unveiled next year as the first ever (EVER!) statue of a woman in Parliament Square. Wearing will also be the first female sculptor to create a work for the square. Because all other sculptors in history have been male, right? Wearing has previously designed a bronze for Birmingham’s Centenary Square, which was unveiled in 2014, so she’s got previous experience.
Wearing currently has a show on at the National Portrait Gallery. It's pretty good, find out more here.