Banner Culture


A century ago it was women’s suffrage, and crusades for peace. Now we have climate emergency, #MeToo, Trump, fracking… and Brexit.

This spectacular exhibition takes over the majestic space of Brierfield Mill with myriad, stunning, textile artefacts. It takes in banner making in all its forms, from the dignified, traditional processional to impromptu DIY messages of dissent. Crowdsourced from heritage collections, campaign groups, artists and communities, it presents a kaleidoscopic view of a century of protest, belief and identity.

Key events are recalled that shaped our times: CND campaigns, the Miners’ Strike, Greenham Common, and perennial struggles with inequality.

Some outstanding banner artists contribute: Durham Bannermakers, who keep vibrantly alive the traditions of the miners’ groups; Thalia Campbell, whose work captured the unbreakable resolve of Greenham women; Ed Hall, celebrated for his collaborations with Jeremy Deller; and Peter Carney, who made heartbreaking memorials for the 96 who were killed at Hillsborough.

Artichoke’s Processions project, for the centenary of women’s suffrage, contributes a wonderful body of work, and the Peace Museum in Bradford have shared a precious collection that brings so much recent history to life.

See Banner Culture, and go away inspired, or angry, or both!

Download a listing of the banners included HERE.

Banner Culture is created as part of our Pendle Radicals project in partnership with Super Slow Way and the British Textile Biennial.