The Emily Davison Lodge

With Olivia Plender

The Re-Inaugural Meeting of the Emily Davison Lodge 2010

Photo: Matthew Booth     

Emily Wilding Davison, one of the most active militants of the suffragette movement, was knocked down by the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby on June 4th 1913 where she had been carrying out a solo demonstration. She died from her injuries and has since become one of the few remembered names of the suffragette campaign. After her funeral, two friends Mary Leigh and Edith New, the initiators of the window smashing campaign of 1911, started the ‘Emily Davison Lodge’, the aim of which was:

‘to perpetuate the memory of a gallant woman by gathering together women of progressive thought and aspiration with the purpose of working for the progress of women according to the needs of the hour.’ 

Closed since the 1940’s, The Emily Davison Lodge was reinstated by Olivia Plender and Hester Reeve in 2010 as a conceptual institution which produces collaborative artworks, exhibitions and hosts meetings inspired by the figure of the suffragette as a militant artist.

 The Emily Davison Rave!

'Party political art' for election day, June 8th 2017 (anniversary of Emily Davison's death) 

[Free art work - click on the poster image to download high res version]

The Sylvia Pankhurst Display

Tate Britain 2013-4


This exhibition, curated alongside Emma Chambers, arose from the artwork 'Open Letter to Tate Britain' (see below) which expressed concern that the artistic contribution of leading suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst to the country's cultural and artistic heritage continued to be overlooked. The director, Penelope Curtis, invited Plender and Reeve to contribute an art work to establish the continuing agency of artists in stimulating debate and approaches to social change. The Emily Davison Lodge is grateful to the Pankhurst family for loaning most of the works on show. 

This image shows Sylvia Pankhurst's angel of freedom motif adorning a tea service that the WSPU sold to raise funds for their campaign, in the background are three paintings from the 1907 'Women Workers of England' series which were created to accompany her article under the same title publicising the harsh conditions and unequal pay that women faced in various industries.

 Examples from Sylvia Pankhurst's 'Women Workers of England' - Dipping and Drying on the Mangle, charcoal and gouache on paper, 1907   

Examples from Sylvia Pankhurst's 'Women Workers of England' - Dipping and Drying on the Mangle, charcoal and gouache on paper, 1907


The exhibition included paintings, suffragette campaign materials (including the Holloway Broach - too tiny to see in the far box frame) and archive photographs. The Emily Davison Lodge's artwork, 'The Working Table of the Emily Davison Lodge 2o10-13' can be seen to the left below Sylvia Pankhurst's banner design for the West Ham branch of the WSPU.

Photos: Matthew Booth

Out of the Archives 

Group Show, The Women's Library, London 2010

Installation shot of 'The Re-Inugoral Meeting of The Emily Davison Lodge 2010' (2 images) and also showing archive boxes of chapbooks for visitors to take away.

'Open Letter to Tate Britain' displayed alongside 'On a Pot Bank: Scouring and Stamping the Maker's Name on Biscuit China' by Sylvia Pankhurst, 1907 (part of the 'Women Workers of England' series, courtesy of the Women's Library).

Installation shot of video work 'The Argument of the Broken Window Pane'

'The Suffragette as Militant Artist' - chapbooks (mimicking the suffragette tactic of cheaply produced material given away to the public) containing research into the suffragette attacks on artworks, suffragette artists and proposing June 4th as Emily Davison Day.

Photos: Matthew Booth

Woodcut promoting 'Emily Davison Day'

ED Day woodcut.png