This mural was part of the Giants of Edmonton; a partnership between Capital City Clean Up, Ched Radio, and the public where radio listeners recommend and vote on-line for outstanding Edmonton people, places, or things as subjects for the murals. The Famous 5: Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy, Nellie Mclung, and Irene Parlby were chosen by the public for their fight to have women legally considered as “persons” in 1929.
When I first started researching the famous five I could not believe that women were not considered persons in this country until 1929, less than a hundred years ago. While these women were far from perfect as individuals, and two of them had despicable racial views, when they united together they permanently improved the rights of all women in this country.
This project was a great challenge: how to visually show the famous five and different movements for women's rights? After sketching scenes such as the 5 in court with composition and lighting borrowed from Gladiator paintings, I decided the answer was a giant single page comic book. Reading from left to right and forward in time the 5 serve as borders in between background panels.
Starting on the left Henrietta Muir Edwards opens with a scene depicting women's suffrage, or the right of women to vote, with a single woman standing defiantly in an all male background. Louise McKinney then moves us forward in time to outside the British court houses in London where Lord Sankey and his entourage deliver the verdict that women are indeed persons. Emily Murphy introduces us to the movement for both men and women to have equal pay. Nellie Mclung shows the final scene of an International women's day parade set in the 1970's, which I must say, was alot of fun to paint with interesting characters and paisley. And finally Irene Parlby closes the picture.
I am available for freelance. Can't wait for the next exciting project! Could be yours?