About the object
The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was created in 1917 to help farmers cope with the shortage of male labour as a result of the First World War. It was brought back into action for the Second World War, at first as voluntary service and then as a form of conscription. Recruits were provided with a free uniform, worth around 30 shillings, which included breeches. This was seen as radical at the time as the item gave them the same freedom of movement as men when doing physical work.
Slough Museum holds a few items relating to the Women’s Land Army – including this photograph (1986.116.009) of Land Girl Dorothy in her uniform. The armband is not visible in the image but was an important part of the uniform.
About the artwork
Artist Tanya Brooks used the uniform as a starting point for considering how women can use clothes as ‘armour’ and created HERstory – encouraging women to be seen, heard and unapologetic about being a woman. Connecting with over twenty women via Zoom in the height of lockdown Tanya provided a positive, fresh new platform for women to come together, empower, educate and dive deep into history all whilst building a story of their own.
The final pieces are a collection of poems, letters and art work designed through words, to create a collaborative collection of women creating their own HERstory, by being inspired by women before us.