Mysterious Banksy-style graffiti welcomed by Newington Green statue campaigners

18:13 15 March 2013

Campaigners with Mary Wollstonecraft graffiti in Newington Green. Picture: Dieter Perry

Campaigners with Mary Wollstonecraft graffiti in Newington Green. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

A mysterious Banksy-style mural has boosted a campaign calling for a statue to one of the icons of feminism.

The stencil image depicting 18th century writer Mary Wollstonecraft – one of the founders of feminism – appeared on the side of the Unitarian Chapel in Newington Green on Sunday morning.

Campaigners have been lobbying for a statue of Wollstonecraft in the middle of the green for some time.

The mural, which is the work of street artist Stewy – whose identity is unknown – emerged as events were staged in Newington Green to raise money for the statue and to celebrate International Women’s Day, which was last Friday.

Andy Pakula, minister of the New Unity congregation based at the chapel, said: “I hope we can leave it here because we think it’s fabulous. There’s different issues about street art, but she’s our guiding spirit.

“You’ve seen in the US where images of Jesus appear on toasted cheese sandwiches, well for us this is about the best that could happen to have Mary show up.”

The Mary on the Green campaign, which is spearheaded by the Newington Green Action Group, is attempting to raise £260,000 to fund the project.

In 2011, an image of Wollstonecraft was beamed onto Westminster Palace to raise awareness for the campaign.

Mr Pakula added: “She’s inspired us to work for justice in the world and we absolutely support the campaign for a statue. We would like to see a Mary Wollstonecraft centre for feminist studies in Newington Green one day.”

Wollstonecraft, who wrote many important works including A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was a key figure in a group of radical thinkers centred around Newington Green in the 18th century, and she also ran a school there.

Writer Bee Rowlatt, 41, who is backing the campaign and recently published a chapter about Wollstonecraft in a new book titled 50 Shades Of Feminism, said: “It’s just unbelievable that there’s no permanent memorial to this incredible woman.

“The mural is really inspiring. She’s right there life-size on a building where she used to go.

“We feel like she’s appeared among us and we hope this is a small step towards getting the memorial.”


Latest News Stories

Fergus conducting the English National Opera. Picture: Tom Bowles/English National Opera

Anyone can enjoy opera. Shrewsbury Town FC is proof of that.

Yesterday, 17:05
Year 6 pupils interview the school's Site Manager, Robbie Robinson, about his memories of the Apollo missions

Pupils at Vittoria Primary School, Islington, are keen to talk to people who remember the Apollo space missions and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon for a history project.

Yesterday, 14:28
Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Yesterday, 12:30
Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard arrives at the Old Bailey, London, for a plea and case management hearing after he was accused of child sex charges. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former Dragons’ Den star from Islington this morning denied paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

Yesterday, 11:30
Handing in the petition against the closure of Caledonian Road Station: Cllr Paul Convery, Cllr Claudia Webbe, Jennette Arnold AM, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Cllr Paul Smith, Cllr Una O’'Halloran, and Cllr Diarmaid Ward

The fight to keep Caledonian Road Station open continues on Thursday.

Yesterday, 09:33
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A damning report by health inspectors has revealed a culture of “harassment and bullying” in London’s ambulance service and called for it to be placed into special measures.

Yesterday, 07:00
Cllr Andy Hull

Jobs will be lost as a result of the budget cuts announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, a councillor has said.

Thu, 15:52
Ashley Walters at the launch of the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Academy at Stoke Newington School in 2012. Picture: Carmen Valino

Rapper and actor Ashley Walters will appear at crown court over two accusations of threatening behaviour and one of racially aggravated harassment in Upper Street’s Hilton Hotel on May 3.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder