The Merry Wagtail Jades, The Breeches They Do Carry

Pankhurst in the Park 2018 artist Anna FC Smith has done a write up about the work she created for our NYC adventure EMINENT DOMAIN, read about it here

The Merry Wagtail Jades, The Breeches They Do Carry: Impudent women and cuckold’s horns.


The title of the work I exhibited at Eminent Domain derives from the broadside ballad ‘A new summons to all the merry wagtail jades that attend at horn fair.’ Printed and sold by J. Pitts in England in 1802 and 1819, it reads: “Come all you wagtail jades, Who love to play the game: And whilst your husbands are abroad, To have some of the same”… “The breeches they do carry, And swear they will them wear, And have their sparks when they please, Though husbands jealous are.”

I exhibited three sculptural banners capped with cuckold’s horns “tipt (sic) with silver” as the broadside ballad describes. The banners themselves were Edwardian bloomers made from a fabric printed with colourful splattered eggs. Their accompanying film echoes with the dissonant sound of crashing and banging pans as the spirit of the impudent women of the past blows through the bloomers.

I was commissioned by Alexandra Arts as part of their Pankhurst In The Park centenary celebrations to explore the history of the Suffragettes and their relevance to contemporary radical feminism. I decided to explore older forms of female carnivalesque, unruly behaviour to draw comparisons with the actions of the Suffragettes and how they were perceived. My work aims to highlight a chain of symbolism in the raucous practices of dissent. My research began with the actions of spitting, pelting and egg throwing undertaken by and against the Suffragettes and led me to rough music and the phenomenon of the Horn Fair.
— Anna FC Smith @

Below is the video artist portrait that we commissioned of Anna FC Smith for the Pankhurst in the Park 2018 season