The Girl at The Door: Equality, Gender & Society

On the eve of International Women's Day 2015 the UCL Quad will become a site for discovery that explores the legacy of suffrage and investigates the relationship between art and social change.

at UCL Quad

UCL's Quad becomes a site for discovery during this two-day creative get-together. Come to find out more about our social history and get creative with live music, workshops, talks, guided walks and performance. A new participatory artwork the House of Doors will also be introduced which invites everybody to think about what makes a more equal society.

This large scale collaborative project involving UCL, the Slade School of Art, Central Saint Martins (UAL), primary and secondary schools and eminent artists and social scientists including the sculptor Ana Maria Pacheco and Professor Graham Scambler, has its origins in Kristina Clackson Bonnington’s work that explores the legacy of suffrage and changes in social equality since 1910.

Artist Kristina Clackson Bonnington said “This all started with a painting I came across in the Beaney. It’s a life-size painting of a little girl standing at a door, painted in 1910. The painting has such a presence and immediately struck me as being of huge social significance. In 1910 the little girl standing at that threshold was excluded from so many places, but big changes were about to come. I want to explore what all of these changes have actually amounted to. By working with hundreds of people, from primary school pupils to Parliamentarians, I am investigating what changed as a result of suffrage.”

Starting on the eve of International Women’s Day 2015 with a large sculptural work, and related programme of events, The Girl at the Door will explore key themes through talks, workshops, guided walks and performance. The project will then tour for three years across the UK to conclude with an exhibition, a publication and related events to mark the centenary of the first women in the UK to get the right to vote.

UCL is the perfect site to launch the project due to its historical ethos of equality. Known as ‘the godless college on Gower Street’, UCL was the first secular university in the UK, and the first university to admit female students on the equal terms to men. UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art was also the first art college to admit women in the life room and has played a significant role in the inclusion of women in the arts.

Visitors will be invited to come and contribute their own ideas and experiences to the project and discover more about this social history. Everyone is welcome!


Opening Times
6 - 7 March 2015
Friday, 1-8pm
Saturday, 1-6pm

UCL Quad
Gower Street, University College London,