Artist to create statue of Brighton suffragette

A statue is set to be created of Mary Clarke, a Brighton suffragette who lived and worked in the city and gave her life for the cause.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 11:15 am
Sculptor Denise Dutton who has been commissioned to create a statue of Suffragette Mary Clarke

Currently, there is no public memorial to the suffragette, who was the sister of famous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, but following The Mary Clarke Statue Appeal set up in late 2018, this could change.

Brighton & Hove City Council will grant £10,000 to fund a bronze maquette (model) of the planned statue and a sculptor has been chosen following a competition.

Denise Dutton from Leak, Staffordshire will sculpt Mary Clarke in bronze and will also sculpt the final statue when funding has been secured.

She said: “I will be pleased to work with the trustees of the Mary Clarke Statue Appeal and to be a part of realising their mission in bringing the memory of Mary’s life story to others through the statue...

“I feel empathy with Mary, for what she endured through her life and what she fought for. These emotions will be ever present during the realisation of the commission.”

Chairwoman of the appeal Jean Calder said: “We are delighted that Denise has agreed to take on this commission... She has an excellent understanding of the suffrage movement because of the work she did on the sculpture of suffragette Annie Kenney.

“At Mary Clarke’s memorial service in Brighton, local suffragette Isabella McKeown said: ‘They must not mourn her in silence. They must take the torch from her and light the darkness’. We are asking local people to take up the torch and support this campaign to commemorate Mary and the ideals for which she gave her life.”

The appeal aims to have the statue erected inside or near the Pavilion Estate and requires £60,000 to do so.

Mary Clarke was a founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union and WSPU organiser for the South Coast, based in Brighton from 1909 to 1910.

She died in 1910 shortly after being released from Holloway Prison for her part in the Black Friday protest at the Houses of Parliament.

More information about the statue and the appeal can be found at {|this website.}