a celebration of 100 years of women getting the vote with Helen Pankhurst
St Catherine's Hall, Oxford, 2018
In the middle ages, statues of this bearded woman were common in churches all over Europe. Her story is that she prayed for a beard to avoid marriage; the beard scared off her suitor, but unfortunately, her father then had her crucified. Uncumber became a beacon for women who wanted to rid themselves of husbands. They would lay ears of wheat at her statue as prayers for liberation. A symbol of hope at a time when a woman was her husband's property, in these days of gender fluidity and hipster beards, this androgynous icon is due a comeback.