A Life-Sized LEGO Suffragette Will Pop Up In Manchester On Emmeline Pankhurst’s Birthday

Laura O'Neill Laura O'Neill

A Life-Sized LEGO Suffragette Will Pop Up In Manchester On Emmeline Pankhurst’s Birthday

The statue will be part of a programme exploring the past, present and future of protest.

Hope, a life-sized suffragette made from LEGO, will pop up at People’s History Museum (PHM) on July 15 to mark the birthday of the founder of the suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst.

Photo: Jessica Taylor

Standing 1.7 metres high, Hope will be made from 32,327 LEGO bricks and was created by UK Parliament in 2018 to mark 100 years since the first women won the right to vote in Britain.

During her stay at the home of ideas worth fighting for, Hope will reside in the recreated kitchen of fellow suffragette, Hannah Mitchell.  Found on the main galleries, where the Votes for Women story is told, it will be the ideal setting for visitors to pose with Hope for suffragette selfies.

Hope’s arrival at PHM will mark the start of a summer programme of family-friendly activities taking place at the national museum of democracy that explore the past, present and future of protest. The programme will see a host of colourful and creative sculptures pop up in the museum over summer.

The life-size sculptures, created by artist Jason Wilsher-Mills, will represent heroes of protest and will be on display at locations throughout People’s History Museum from July 27.  Brave Boy Billy, The Corby Rocker and The Corby PiP Princess will each invite interaction through their bright and fun designs, with augmented reality (AR) technology enabling people to discover some of the serious disability issues that they represent.

Photo: Jason Wisher-Mills

For example, Brave Boy Billy will be sitting on a space-hopper, a design which Jason created working collaboratively with young disabled people.  Their individual stories will be accessible via trigger points on the sculpture, with the overriding message being that only 15 million people in the world have access to wheelchairs, when more than 60 million people actually need them.


Jason Wilsher-Mills has taken inspiration from his Greek namesake for the title of the exhibition, Jason & the Argonauts, with his heroes being the people he has met and worked with from disabled communities around the country.  Each sculpture will offer visitors a different interactive experience, which will unlock animations, text, music and audio.

Hope and Jason Wilsher-Mills’ sculptures are part of People’s History Museum’s summer activities and will be on display until early September.  Busy Bee explorer packs are a fun way to discover the museum and Duplo LEGO gives young visitors the chance to create their own models.

Photo: Jason Wilsher-Mills

Throughout 2019 People’s History Museum will be exploring the past, present and future of protest as it marks the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.  The story of how a peaceful protest, which took place on 16 August 1819, led to loss of life and bloodshed and its significance today is told in its headline exhibition for 2019, Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest (until 23 February 2020).

People’s History Museum is open seven days a week from 10.00am to 5.00pm.  Radical Lates are on the second Thursday each month, open until 8.00pm.  The museum and exhibitions are free to enter with a suggested donation of £5.  To find out about visiting the museum, its full exhibitions and events programme visit phm.org.uk.

Also published on Medium.