The VERY-soon-to-be-erected sculpture honoring Mary Wollstonecraft is highly captivating and holds an abundance of significance.
This statue is significant because it honors the woman often referred to as the “foremother of feminism.”
It’s significant in that it adds one more statue of a woman in a city, London, where “over 90% of the statues commemorate men”(Crockett).
It’s significant that the artist Maggi Hambling is a trailblazer herself, a woman some call a “modern legend”(Slawson).
Hambling explains that this sculpture, unlike the typical bronze male ones, “is designed to encourage a visual conversation with the obstacles Wollstonecraft overcame, the ideals she strived for, and what she made happen”(Crockett).
“I hope this piece will act as a metaphor for the challenges women continue to face as we confront the world,” explains Hambling.
On the base, or plinth, on which the statue stands are Mary Wollstonecraft’s dates, 1759-1797, along with one of her quotes:
“I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.”
You can find this sculpture in Newington Green, north London, a locale where Wollstonecraft lived for a while, operated a school for girls (1784), and wrote The Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792).
We can thank the persistent, hard-working group Mary on the Green, who campaigned for over a decade to see this project through.
I invite you to read my post on Mary Wollstonecraft, if you’d like to learn more about her and her seminal work The Vindication of the Rights Women.
I look very forward to experiencing this sculpture representing Wollstonecraft and everywoman the next time I visit London, as well as visiting the statues of ten women erected in New York City last summer, progress made by Statues for Equality that I wrote about in my follow-up post on Tererai Trent.
© Maria Dintino 2020
Crockett, Moya. “London is getting a Mary Wollstonecraft statue, because visibility matters.” Stylist, Feb 2019.
Slawson, Nicola. “Maggi Hambling picked to create Mary Wollstonecraft statue.” The Guardian, 16 May 2018.