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Jailed for Freedom, 2020

Mixed Media

Textiles

60.00 x 40.00 in

152.4 x 101.6 cm

Unique Work

This work comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

$900
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About The Work

My piece depicts the “Jailed for Freedom” pin, a historic pin that serves as a reminder of previous struggles in support of the cause of women’s suffrage that led to a real and lasting change to our democracy. The silver pins are shaped like a jail cell door with a heart-shaped padlock and were created by the National Woman’s Party.

In 1917 more than 90 women were arrested outside of the White House while standing in silent vigil. Known as the “Silent Sentinels,” the demonstrations were organized by the NWP to raise awareness for women’s suffrage. While imprisoned, protesters were physically and emotionally abused, even being force-fed during hunger strikes. Sharing their stories of mistreatment was an important part of changing people’s opinions about women’s suffrage, including that of Congress. The NWP awarded these pins to each woman who had been jailed during the silent vigils and it immediately became one of the many important symbols of the Women's Suffrage Movement.

It is important to recognize that the struggle continued even after the 19th Amendment passed since it did not effectively recognize all women’s right to vote. Other laws as well as violence, intimidation, and oppression continued to deny Native people, African Americans, and Chinese Americans the right to vote for decades to come. For me, the prison door symbol also reflects the continuation of this struggle.

My piece inverts the materiality of the original pin by using pliable fiber materials and scaling the pin closer to a life-sized scale of a prison cell door. The purple, white, and gold combination of colors refer to the colors used by all US suffrage organizations.–Liene Bosquē

Courtesy of The Contemporary Art Modern Project

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