The Match Women’s Strike 1988:
Alison Marchant’s ‘Wall Paper History’ revisited
Tuesday 23 February – Saturday 7 May 2016
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
In July 1888, over 1400 women and girls employed at the Bryant & May match factory in Bow successfully went on strike to improve their working conditions. In 1988, East End artist Alison Marchant marked the centenary of this pivotal moment in feminist and labour history with a range of public installations and a national touring exhibition. This creative project, called Wall Paper History, repurposed archives from Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives and the Museum of Labour History to bring attention to working class women’s continuing economic oppression, illustrated by the imminent redevelopment of the now defunct match factory as private housing.
In 2016, to mark Women’s History Month, Alison Marchant and Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives will re-stage her 1988 exhibition, which includes original prints, etchings and collages inspired by archival imagery.