The scene is set; the floodlights at Old Trafford are ready to shine; and today (July 6) the world will be watching as England and Austria get the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 competition underway. It may be one year late, but England will be hoping to go one better than their best ever finish, runners up, and lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium on July 31.
To celebrate, a summer season of art and heritage also commences today across the nine host cities of the competition: Brighton & Hove, London (Brent and Hounslow), Manchester, Milton Keynes, Rotherham, Sheffield, Southampton, Trafford and Wigan & Leigh.
Highlighting the history of women’s football, the season will delve into little known, inspiring stories of the game through art, with a national celebration that hopes to reach three million people.
Margaret ‘Whitty’ Whitworth and Margaret ‘Tiny’ Shepherd, Manchester Corinthians (1958 / 1967 – 1973) said: “We are delighted that an arts and heritage programme has been launched to celebrate the women’s game for this edition of the UEFA Women’s EURO.
“We faced many challenges and triumphs during our time as players for the Corinthians and we are pleased that our stories, as well as those of many others, are finally being told through this initiative. We hope the programme will inspire future players and fans of the game.”
This art and heritage programme, which runs through the entire competition (July 6 – July 31), is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, as well as being managed by the Football Association (FA). It marks the first time the FA has run a programme like this during a major tournament.
Commissions visitors can expect to see include The Supercompensation Cycle by Emma Smith, a warmup for each game across multiple locations that encourages people to warm up for each match by copying movements collected by residents in the form of a holographic film. You’ll find a special live performance from YaYa Bones, who created the music for the commission, ahead the final at Wembley Stadium on July 30.
Elsewhere, you’ll find an exhibition at the Gunnersbury Park museum, telling the stories of pioneering women who refused to be denied the right to play the sport, which runs until October 9. Plus, a fan photography competition is on the cards, inviting keen amateur and student photographers to enter their top 5 photos of the tournament to be in with a chance of having their work displayed in an online museum, as well as being archived at the National Football Museum. Plus, three winners will receive tickets to an England Women’s International match in October.
Get full details of more installations here, and visit the London programme for the art and heritage season.