While devising the installation, a line from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves particularly struck my thoughts: “I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me… I am rooted, but I flow.”
Woolf’s character Jinny is rooted in being herself, but flows as an evolving part of a whole. Reading beyond Woolf’s words, I felt that this can also be heard as a voice of the Leading Women celebration, that of the nine women who were the first to step through the doors to British university education, the many thousands who have followed, and the generations of excellence to come.
Memorials often implore the viewer to remember, yet perpetuity goes against the human psyche. Hence, while the garden performs my narrative, these words perform its title and will be inscribed in the paving. They will stand as a reminder to those who read it at any point in the future — reminding visitors of history, of literature, as well as of the invaluable individuality that we as young women hold within our complex webs of connections across the University – and to give us courage to achieve our aspirations.