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Life-sized heroes of protest arrive at PHM

8 July 2019

School summer holidays at the national museum of democracy

From left to right Brave Boy Billy by Jason Wilsher Mills , Hope LEGO suffragette on loan from House of Commons, Brave Boy Billy and The Corby Rocker by Jason Wilsher Mills

A colourful and creative takeover by life-size sculptures that represent heroes of protest is taking place this summer at People’s History Museum (PHM).  The arrival marks the start of a summer programme of family friendly activities taking place at the national museum of democracy that explore the past, present and future of protest.

Arriving at People’s History Museum on Monday 15 July to mark the birthday of the founder of the suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst, is Hope a life-sized suffragette made from LEGO.

Standing 1.7 metres high, Hope is made from 32,327 LEGO bricks and was created by UK Parliament in 2018 to mark 100 years since the first women won the right to vote in Britain.  During her stay, at the home of ideas worth fighting for, Hope will reside in the recreated kitchen of fellow suffragette, Hannah Mitchell.  Found on the main galleries, where the Votes for Women story is told, this is the ideal setting for visitors to pose with Hope for suffragette selfies.

Creating a vibrant visual spectacle life size sculptures by artist Jason Wilsher-Mills will be on display at locations throughout People’s History Museum from Saturday 27 JulyBrave Boy Billy, The Corby Rocker and The Corby PiP Princess each invite interaction through their bright and fun designs, with augmented reality (AR) technology enabling people to discover some of the serious disability issues that they represent.  For example, Brave Boy Billy is sat on a space-hopper, a design which Jason created working collaboratively with young disabled people.  Their individual stories are accessed via trigger points on the sculpture, with the overriding message being that only 15 million people in the world have access to wheelchairs, when over 60 million people actually need them.

Jason Wilsher-Mills has taken inspiration from his Greek namesake for the title of the exhibition, Jason & the Argonauts, with his heroes being the people he has met and worked with in disabled communities around the country.  Each sculpture offers visitors a different interactive experience, which will unlock animations, text, music and audio.

Hope and Jason Wilsher-Mills’ sculptures are part of People’s History Museum’s summer activities and will be on display until early September.  Busy Bee explorer packs are a fun way to discover the museum and Duplo LEGO gives young visitors the chance to create their own models.

Throughout 2019 People’s History Museum is exploring the past, present and future of protest as it marks the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.  The story of how a peaceful protest, which took place on 16 August 1819, led to loss of life and blood shed and its significance today is told in its headline exhibition for 2019, Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest (until 23 February 2020).

People’s History Museum is open seven days a week from 10.00am to 5.00pm.  Radical Lates are on the second Thursday each month, open until 8.00pm.  The museum and exhibitions are free to enter with a suggested donation of £5.  To find out about visiting the museum, its full exhibitions and events programme visit


For further information or to arrange a visit please contact Fido PR: /

0161 832 3588

A selection of images can be found here:

Notes to editors:

Hope is on loan from the House of Commons.

About People’s History Museum (PHM)

People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.  PHM offers a powerful programme with annual themes; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, 2019 sees a year of activities around protest movements to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, and the programme for 2020 will be exploring the theme of migration.  Recent winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

About Arts Council England (ACE)

PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).  The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives.  ACE support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.  In short, it makes life better.  Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.



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