House of Doors opens up for Houses of Parliament
A contemporary sculpture, created by UCL Artist-in-Residence, Kristina Clackson-Bonnington, has been chosen by the Palace of Westminster to mark the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.
The House of Doors is a public art project, which invites viewers to consider how access to public life has changed since 1918, with particular emphasis on the spaces and roles that were closed to women and that have since opened up.
It will go on display in Westminster Hall from November 8 to December 3, 2018, as the Houses of Parliament celebrate the centenary of this historic event, which gave some women and working men the right to vote in elections.
The House of Doors is a monolithic structure and references architectural details from significant sites of women’s equality and exclusion:
- The Houses of Parliament, as the site of women’s enfranchisement;
- UCL, which in 1878 became the first university in England to admit women on equal terms to men;
- The Gentlemen’s Clubs of St James’, London, some of which continue not to admit women today.
The centrepiece of the project is a resonant sculpture of a cloaked woman facing a vertical stretch of paving in place of a door. The stone ‘door’ thus represents a physical obstacle, rather than an entrance point and audiences are asked to consider how the ‘door’ could be opened, over-leaped, or manipulated to become a pathway.