Pilgrim Woman: Boston

Pilgrim Woman is the creation of a new sculpture using the story of families arrested and held in Boston jail in the early 17th century. 

Artist Rachel Carter has created two 52cm sculptures of of Pilgrim Women on a 90cm stone plinth on Church Close outside the library, as part of her series of Pilgrim Woman sculptures. This work commemorates Boston’s  role in the Pilgrim and Puritan story in the run-up to the 2030 Puritan anniversary ‘Boston 400’.

The sculpture and stone plinth prior to installation.

The project engaged women living in Lincolnshire from both immigrant and non immigrant backgrounds. Working with an ancient method of weaving on a Lucet in a series of workshops both physical and virtual to engage women in semi rural areas. 

The sculpture, co-created with the community, takes hand weaving and stitching combined with the latest technology to scan the artist in Tudor clothing using photogrammetry creating a digital version. A 3D print will be cast in bronze using the traditional lost wax technique. 

Reflecting on the family groups held in Boston Jail, Rachel experimented with cords made on a Lucet. 

Once Rachel was happy once happy with the flow and movement of the community made woven cords, two female figures were bound together, and impregnated with wax to stiffen and hold them. The cords are also cast in bronze using the traditional lost wax technique, and repositioned on the sculpture. 

The completed bronze sculpture was exhibited in a new exhibition at The Collection at the end of 2021 to shine a light on the historical bondage of women to a male counterpart and open a dialogue for the role of women today. 

The finished bronze artwork will be installed in 2023 on Church Close outside the library and will be a thought provoking new sculpture inspired by the past but prompting reflection on contemporary Boston.

Watch the video:
Watch a video all about the project here!

Listen to the podcast:
The podcast series charts Rachel’s journey to create a series of Pilgrim Woman Sculptures for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing and looks at the history, inspiration and the cultures of four nations.

You can find all the episodes here, and have listen to episode 4 below.

In this episode, special guest Carrie Reichardt, an artist on our Boston Buoys project, joins Rachel to discuss how they began their life as artists, therapeutic methods of making and their art commissions for the town of Boston, Lincolnshire. Creative break provided by poet Sarah Wimbush, produced by Poesy In Motion.

Listen here to a podcast episode that features the participants of the project that, using the weaving kits, have helped create the sculpture: