‘put her forward’: beyond size

25 new statues of women.  How great is that?  More importantly, how necessary, when you realise that there are only 26 statues of non-mythical, non-royal women in the whole of the UK.  There are more statues of men called John.

It’s time to start redressing the balance, in a way that brings new ways of commemorating; not just more of the same.  Many of the statues that loom above our streets, squares and parks were sculpted in the Victorian era, to a scale and design that perfectly captured the pomp and ceremony of that time.

In the 21st century, things are very different.  Technology is moving at a staggering pace, and with the advent of 3D printing, the way we design, create and produce is constantly changing and evolving.  put her forward is a product of that technology; the chance to produce pinpoint-accurate statues of 25 women who have achieved remarkable things for their communities, for the world.

We are proud that the put her forward statues, which will be revealed over the Heritage Open Days weekends, do not conform to old standards but transcend them.  They are a product of cutting-edge technology, standing 35cm high (just under a foot). Each woman has been photographed from every angle to enable the 3D modelling process; a different kind of likeness-capturing, as new now as photography was 150 years ago.  This new method opens up numerous opportunities for statue-making and other sculptural work, but - as with digital photography - each increase in size reduces the clarity.  The height we have chosen for the put her forward statues offers the best quality reproduction; any larger, and the pin-sharp likeness begins to lose its accuracy.

Using this new technology perfectly mirrors the wider aims of put her forward; to examine and refresh who we commemorate and how.  Our 25 women come from every age, race and class – women who are changing people’s lives, and working for a fairer, better society.  For too long, worth has been defined too narrowly, and we are delighted that these 25 women represent a wider, more diverse cross-section of our society.

put her forward is about each of these women, and their remarkable actions, but it is also about reshaping our thinking around those we commemorate.  Over the Heritage Days weekends, each statue will be unveiled in a public place, offering a wonderful opportunity to look beyond established ideas about statues, and redefine them for how we live now.  Come along and join us in celebrating these women, and the intricacy and beauty of the statues that have been created.

To find an unveiling happening near you, visit putherforward.com