How will women be remembered over the past 100 years? What have they achieved in the fields of Sport, Science, Politics, the Arts and Education? Who were these women and what did they look like?
Renowned photographer Anita Corbin aims to answer these questions with her symbolic project ‘First Women‘, exhibiting at Royal College of Art this summer.
This considerable body of work comprises a unique collection of 100 portraits capturing women in the UK who were “first” in their field of achievement. The portraits by Anita provide inspiration and insight for a new generation of women seeking an understanding of their own roles in a rapidly changing world in which equality is still an issue. The full collection is finally being revealed this year to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage.
After working with Metro on her 2016 exhibition Visible Girls, Anita was keen to seek advice on the First Women project from Metro’s Director Steve Macleod and Marketing Manager, Kate O’Neill. Anita comments “Their (Metro’s) dedicated team of experts have a huge range of industry experience and they clearly love what they do, which is why the quality is so good – I can totally rely on them”.
“From our first project with Anita working on Visible Girls to this landmark body of ‘100 First Women’, our partnership has progressed and grown into a collaboration beyond what we could have ever hoped for. We look forward to creating many more projects with Anita and adding to the Metro Imaging legacy of high quality and close collaboration with our clients.” – Kate O’Neill says of the ongoing partnership with Anita and First Women.
Steve Macleod adds “This project embodies Anita’s huge dedication and determination to her craft in collating these portraits which are emblematic of the commitment to her practise or process.”
Working closely with Anita over the last year, our experienced technicians have helped to produce this landmark exhibition via archival digital c-type matt prints, custom mounting and bespoke framing.
First Women, The Collection, is about women’s achievements, and one woman’s exploration through the camera lens that endeavours to answer the question: How will women be remembered over the past 100 years? What have they achieved in the fields of Sport, Science, Politics, the Arts and Education? And who were these remarkable “first” women, what did they look like?
The portraits are multi-tiered; they are an exploration of the relationship between the photographer and the sitter as well as the relationship the woman has with the environment or background in which she is photographed. Each has been carefully chosen by Anita and her subject to reflect the field of achievement in which the woman has excelled.
First Women is the project that Anita has waited all her life to create. Her passion was born out of work she began in the early eighties – her Visible Girls portfolio was symbolic of women’s newfound freedom to be whoever they wanted to be – and fired by years spent working as a top female photographer for The Sunday Times and The Observer when she was often sent to cover “human interest” stories involving women.
All this experience has culminated in Anita’s vision – the creation of a legacy for future generations of women to enable them to understand and appreciate the achievements of their forebears – and perhaps even to laugh incredulously that once upon a time women were regarded as second-class citizens without a vote.
The exhibition launches this July at the Royal College of Art (info below) and you can get involved and support this remarkable project here!
The exhibition of the full 100 portraits shows at the Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, Riverside, 1 Hester Road London SW11 4AN 20th July until 22nd August.
Every day of the week 12-5pm. Free Entry.
IMG © Anita Corbin / First Women
1. Kelly Gallagher, First Woman to win British Winter Paralympic gold
2. Nicola Adams MBE, First Woman win British Olympic and European Games boxing gold
3. Suzi Quatro, First Woman to play bass in and front a Glam Rock Band
4. Rev Rose Hudson Wilkin, First Woman to be made the Speaker’s Chaplain