International Women's Day 2022

Conversations At The Table

To celebrate International Women's Day 2022 we collaborated with Loughborough Women's Network and artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood on a special dinner party event.

Conversations At The Table was inspired by ‘The Dinner Party’, a historically important piece of art by feminist artist Judy Chicago and took place on Tuesday 8 March in the Council Chamber, Hazlerigg. 'The Dinner Party' was a designed ceremonial banquet with a total of thirty nine place settings, each commemorating a significant woman from history. We re-imagined this work with a version that was designed and made by artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood, in collaboration with Loughborough Women’s Network.  

Each item of the table setting, from plates and menus to napkins and tablecloth was specially created by Taylor Silverwood and Loughborough University students. The event was a wonderful opportunity for key staff at the University to have dinner with members of the Women’s Network and other representative student groups, who are campaigning for equality of gender and sexuality. 

The centrepiece of the dinner was twenty six bespoke plates, which were designed and decorated by Loughborough University students who took part in an online workshop with Taylor Silverwood. They each created a design to celebrate a historical or contemporary figure and/or ideas around International Women's Day, both local and international. 

The napkins were co-designed by Taylor Silverwood and staff, students and members of Loughborough Women's Network. They introduced a selection of questions and suggestions to help prompt and guide the conversation at the dinner. 

The event was attended by members of Loughborough Women's Network, Senior Managers from the University, including the Vice Chancellor, and representatives from Loughborough Students' Union and other student groups. 

We are incredibly proud to have been able to be involved in the production and organisation of The Dinner Party, and are hugely appreciative of LU Arts for providing us with the opportunity to celebrate International Women's Day on such a significant scale - watching this event come to life has been incredibly rewarding. Bridging the gap between the student body and senior staff is a huge achievement, and to celebrate IWD this way was a privilege.

Izzy Romp International Women's Week Officer, Loughborough Women's Network

The whole concept and artwork was so thoughtfully organised, I’ve never experienced anything like it before. What Loughborough Women’s Network achieved with the event was not only inspiring, but reminded me of why I love Loughborough, feeling that sense of belonging and welcomeness that makes our community so brilliant to be a part of.

Hannah Thompson-Radford Doctoral Researcher, Loughborough University

I was blown away by the whole event, the thought, skill and messages across the collection of plates, the consideration and effort in the napkins and all place settings overall. Additionally, I had some really varied, deep, impactful and enjoyable conversation with those I met and talked with during the event and those who were on the table I was at.

Emma Dresser EDI Manager, Loughborough University

International Women's Week Banner

Banners have historically been created and carried by women for consciousness-raising, advocacy and protest, and collective sewing has long provided a space for women to share experiences, seek support and solidarity. With this in mind, we invited artist and Loughborough alumna Amelia Seren Roberts to run a banner making workshop on Thursday 3 March. The workshop was open to members of Loughborough Women's Network and other students to collectively create a banner which would be the main focal point of the International Women's Week march around the University campus on Wednesday 9 March.  

The banner was also displayed in the Council Chamber during 'Conversations At The Table' (see above).