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5 July 2016

Knights, Winifred, 1899-1946; A Scene in a Village Street with Mill-Hands Conversing

‘A Scene in a Village Street with Mill-hands Conversing’ was painted by Winifred Knights in 1919. The book/catalogue accompanying the Dulwich exhibition is full of fascinating detail about this painting (pp 68-75), for example that Winifred’s contemporaries at the Slade knew it as ‘Mill-hands on Strike’ and that it was probably conceived as a response to the wave of strikes that overran England in 1919. It is likely that the woman in a red jacket is a female trade unionist arguing for better conditions for women’s labour or equal rights for women workers. Winifred herself, wearing a light-brown belted jacket and side-plaited hairstyle, stands close by listening. (‘Mill-hands’ is in the UCL Art Museum, round the corner from the shop, although of course in Dulwich until September.)

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