Help to create the first Virginia Woolf Statue

by Aurora Metro in Greater London, United Kingdom

£1,750

raised so far

+ est. £338.50 Gift Aid

60

supporters

Help us raise the last 20% of the amount needed to install a statue of Virginia Woolf in Richmond.

by Aurora Metro in Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 28th December 2021 we'd raised £1,437 with 50 supporters in 35 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.


1574552046_076529d6388445daaa268400d66c702e.jpgRecognised as one of the great writers of the 20th century, Virginia Woolf's ideas helped to change the course of literature and champion women's rights.

100 years on, we think it's high time that there was a life-sized bronze statue of Virginia Woolf in the UK - and we'd like you to help us fix that. We've raised over £39,000 so far of our £50,000 target. 

The Virginia Woolf Reading Challenge

We challenge you to read as many books by women and LGBTQ+ authors as you can before Dalloway Day on 17th June to help raise funds for the first life-size statue of Virginia Woolf. . Prizes include titles by Virginia Woolf, YA authors and a super tote bag.

How to take part: https://www.aurorametro.org/general-8

The Campaign

We launched our campaign in 2017 and have had huge success so far! 

We commissioned sculptor Laury Dizengremel to design the statue, and she created a Virginia who is friendly and approachable, sitting on a bench in Richmond's favourite hangout spot. Here's a mock up likeness of the statue which will  be situated on Richmond Riverside, a place that Virginia liked to walk every day.

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A recent audit of London's statues found that there were twice as many statues of animals as there were of named women in the city. Nationally, there are very few statues of women of achievement (under 3%) and we need more representations of great women in our public spaces so that girls and women can see that their work is valued and given the recognition it deserves. Our beautiful new bronze artwork of Virginia Woolf  will be an interactive monument that people can sit on and enjoy, maybe even become inspired to write...

Richmond residents are as excited about the statue as we are. There have been two public consultations - the most recent, held in July 2021, found that 91% are in favour of the statue's installation.  We were also granted planning permission by Richmond Council in 2018.

As well as receiving support from the general public, the statue has been endorsed on social media by: Margaret Atwood, Caroline Criado-Perez, Polly Toynbee, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Deborah Frances-White, James O'Brien, Jodi Picoult, Cerys Matthews and Elizabeth Day.

The statue is supported by the descendants of Virginia Woolf, who have appeared in our film and endorsed the accompanying book. It will help to inspire others too, especially women and girls. It will become a focus for artistic and literary events in the area, generating jobs and tourism. Most importantly, it will honour a great writer whose life and works continue to inspire so many others around the world to create books, plays, novels, films and artworks, contributing to our contemporary culture in a vibrant way.

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A Passionate Feminist

Her book, a Room of One's Own, is an important feminist text. She argued that social expectations and a lack of financial resources were preventing talented women writers from pursuing their craft. A feminist thread runs through many of her novels - she often focused on the interior lives of women, topics that were at the time deemed too unimportant for great literature. Simone de Beauvoir and many women since have considered her an inspiration.

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Woolf is well-known for her relationship with fellow writer Vita Sackville-West, spawning some of the most romantic love letters in history. The two were open about their same-sex affair in a climate that was hostile to homosexuality. 

In honour of Sackville-West, Woolf wrote one of her most dazzling and innovative novels, Orlando. Considered a classic of transgender fiction, Orlando is the fictional biography of a poet who lives for hundreds of years, metamorphosing from a man into a woman. Woolf also explored same-sex passion in Mrs. Dalloway, hinting at a possible attraction between Clarissa Dalloway and Sally Seton. Woolf's irreverent attitude to binaries of sex and gender were pioneering for her day, and continue to inspire LGBTQ+ youth.

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Not only was Woolf a pioneering writer, she also played a huge role in bringing the work of other authors to the world. With husband Leonard, she bought a hand printing press and they published books by emerging writers including T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Katharine Mansfield and even the complete works of Sigmund Freud. They called their indie publishing venture The Hogarth Press, named after the house they loved in Paradise Road in Richmond which is still standing today.

It wasn't easy for Virginia Woolf to make a name for herself as a writer. She had a constant battle with mental health issues, and was given treatments such as being kept in a dark room, fed a milk diet and having her teeth pulled out, in an effort to cure her bouts of depression. 

About us

We are a committed team determined to make this statue a reality. Our charity has been delivering successful arts and community projects for over 20 years. Our registered charity number is 1055116. 

For even more info please visit our website: https://www.aurorametro.org/virginia-woolf-statue




Rewards

This project offered rewards

£5 or more

Donor Name on Charity's Webpage

You will be acknowledged as a donor on our website: https://www.aurorametro.org/virginia-woolf-statue

£10 or more

Ticket to Gala Event for Virginia (recorded)

A Celebration of Virginia Woolf with talks, readings and songs. Contributors include: Musicians: Kyla Brox, Sister Cookie, Woolf and Music, Kasey Chambers Writers: Sarah Gristwood, Mark Haddon, Frances Spalding, Anne Sebba Comedienne: Clare Summerskill Theatre: Katie Mitchell; Marvellous Machine's 'Orlando' extract; Rebecca Mordan and Rebecca Vaughn perform an extract from Woolf's work 'A Room of One's Own'.

£12 or more

Tote Bag

Canvas tote bag with design of your choice. See below for pictures. Includes acknowledgment on website.

£15 or more

Virginia Woolf Book

A copy of 'Virginia Woolf in Richmond' by Peter Fullagar or 'The Women Writers' Handbook'. See details below. Includes acknowledgment on website.

£20 or more

Virginia Woolf T-Shirt

Your choice of cotton t-shirt. See below for pictures. Includes acknowledgment on website.

£25 or more

Virginia Woolf Book Bundle

A copy of 'Virginia Woolf in Richmond' + a copy of 'The Women Writers' Handbook'. Includes acknowledgement on website.

£30 or more

Virginia Woolf Merch Bundle

T-shirt of your choice + tote bag of your choice. Message us your t-shirt size when you choose this reward. Includes acknowledgment on website.

£50 or more

Virginia Woolf Superfan Bundle

Both books + tote bag of your choice + t-shirt of your choice. Includes acknowledgment on website.

£100 or more

Invite to Unveiling After-Party

Invitation to the party after the unveiling, meet the sculptor and other supporters (including a celebrity guest tba), enjoy a glass of wine and have your name on the event programme as a backer. Includes acknowledgment on website.

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