The Mary Wollstonecraft statue in Newington Green has been a target of controversy since it was first erected. Some people have criticised it for being an abstract depiction of the female figure, rather than a lifelike representation of Wollstonecraft. Others have criticised it for it including a naked body – claiming the design to be ‘disrespectful to women’ and to Wollstonecraft’s achievements.
Well, folks, the memorial is not naked any more. Someone has bravely dressed the nude figure in a rather groovy purple gown and belt (complete with a large-scale parrot print). Although the dress looks like it may have originally been a tea towel, we’ve certainly seen worse fashion moments around town.
Is this a public gesture to keep the ‘mother of feminism’ warm – after all, she might be feeling the January frost like the rest of us? Is it a protest against the naked human body? Is it a protest against the monument?
As always, the £143,000 statue is succeeding in providing a healthy dose of drama to Newington Green.