Published: Wednesday, 30th March 2022

Gillingham High Street has been temporarily transformed with portraits of inspirational women.

We commissioned local artist Nicole Mollett to create portraits for residents and visitors to enjoy for one year, as part of the Welcome Back Fund.

The six portraits launched on Saturday, 26 March and are a part of the Circle of Six Women project, which uncovers local feminist heroes with personal connections to Gillingham.

The Six Women are Suffragist and peace campaigner, Dame Kathleen Courtney, African princess and friend to Queen Victoria, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, pioneering psychiatrist, Dr Lorna Wing, poet and novelist, Rosemary Desmond Boswell Tonks, inventor and engineer, Verna Holmes and artist Eileen Tirzah Garwood.

Brighten Britton Farm

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am pleased that the new Circle of Six Women portraits have launched in Gillingham High Street, this project is a great example of an opportunity to blend cultural projects with regeneration works. The hoarding is in place to protect the site at Britton Farm in Gillingham, while works are ongoing, and the new artwork helps brighten this up, as well as recognises the heroic efforts of six historic women.”

Amazing lives revealed

Nicole Mollett, Six Women artist, said: “It is a privilege to be chosen by the panel to create this public artwork. My aim is to create artwork which resonates with local heritage and reveals the stories of these amazing women’s’ lives.”

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