Bikes & Bloomers

Cowley Road Works Freewheeling Project Celebrates 100 years of Women’s Suffrage

Saturday 24 February 10 am – 4 pm

Modern Art Oxford, Pembroke Street

Decorated bike

Celebrating Oxford International Women’s Festival & Women’s Suffrage 100 Years On

The bifurcated garment known as Bloomers signifies physical freedom for women during a time when their clothing was specifically designed to restrict their movements and restrain their physical wellbeing. The Bloomer’s association with hidden undergarments and ‘fearful’ female sexuality caused the garment to be further vilified. The ubiquity of ‘Bloomers’ in Panto and comedy has lent the garment a riotous and carnivalesque aspect: perfect for sending up those who would constrain and contain us. Our Bikes and Bloomers workshop will celebrate the freedoms that everyone should have access to, and will honour the campaigners for Suffrage who enabled so many of us to have and enjoy those freedoms.

Artist Nicola Donovan will be inspiring and assisting people to make bloomers and/or bike saddle covers in Suffragette colours of violet, white and green, with the hope that all will be up for participating in a bicycle ride through the city of Oxford on Carnival Day.

Patterns, textiles and trimmings will be provided, but please feel free to bring anything (or anyone) you would particularly like to work with.

CRW’s Freewheeling project is a series of art events and workshops aimed at gathering people together in a creative endeavour that is personal to them, and which uses the bike as both vehicle and metaphor for freedom and social change.

By bringing great artists together with varied groups of people in the community, we aim to create a dialogue through art and bicycles as a celebration of diversity and to address issues of freedoms and difference, identity, resilience, positive body image, and ending violence against women and girls, and the role of physical activity and sport in supporting these aims.

Saturday 24 February 2018    10am- 4pm     Modern Art Oxford, Pembroke St, OX1 1BP


This is a free event, but pre-booking is recommended…to book your Bloomers place please contact

Miff Crockford: or 07779265249

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