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  • Writer's pictureRachael Prime

Female Voice

Rachael Prime was one of five artists involved in the Female Voice exhibition at Norton Priory, a project exploring the working roles of women within the 900 year history of the site. The project was funded by Halton Borough Council as part of the Celebrate Halton funding to explore the heritage of Halton as part of the Council’s Borough of Culture programme.

Five women were highlighted from different eras of Norton Priory history, from the modern day female archeologist who helps the museum identify and study the bones found on site to the Ale wives who origonally brewed the mead and ale for the Priory.

image credit: Lauren Quayle -

Rachael focused on the lace makers of Runcorn, a cottage industry to make fine clothing adornments for the lords and ladies of the house at Norton Priory. A double edge sword women gained independence but also suffered with ill health from a young age due to fine nature of the work. The origonal photograph that inspired Rachael’s work is of a un-named women, provided via Halton Libraries Picture Halton website.

image credit: Lauren Quayle -

Part of the project included postcards sharing the stories of each women, the studios commissioned local photographer Lauren Quayle to help photo the art works within Norton Priory grounds.

Rachael’s piece create a double layer effect with a cyanotype printed fabric, created used lace work, and an illustration of the lace worker herself printed onto acetate. Surrounded by the green and browns of the forest the stark blue of the fabric catches the eye show casing the lacework before you can clearly see the person who made the work layered in front of the piece.

image credit: Lauren Quayle -

I was particularly pleased of this snapshot of Lauren finding the perfect angle of Mima Cornish work, which focused on the design of the rose garden.

For further information about this project please visit:

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