Striking New Exhibition of 100 iconic portraits of ‘First Women’ from across the UK – marking the 100th year of Women’s Suffrage (6th February 2018)



‘First Women UK’ will be exhibiting the full 100 portraits in a striking and immersive exhibition at the Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art in London from the 20th July 2018 to the 22nd August. Free entry.


The exhibition includes portraits from celebrities such as Suzi Quatro, Angela Rippon, Jenny Éclair and Victoria Coren-Mitchell, well known leaders such as Nicola Sturgeon and Dame Inga Beale to profile sports stars such as Explorer Felicity Aston and Olympic Gold Medalist Nicola Adams. Ages range from 18 to 102 years and fields of expertise from beatboxing to bomb detection. An impressive visual story of female potential, for men and women of all generations.


In a long history dominated by notable males, First Women UK asks ‘what is it about women that can inspire you?’


First Women UK’s patron, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, First Woman Speaker of the House of Commons, is leading a number of ambassadors to pioneer the project: growing the awareness of the possibilities available to women, not just in business – but to inspire and encourage the viewer to define what their own path is and what personal achievement really means. There is a difference between changing the world – and changing your own world and First Women UK bridges that gap.


Dany Cotton, First Woman to be Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, explains ‘Anything that enables other women is a great thing. It’s so important that we make it easier for all women to believe it’s possible to achieve their goals’


The National Portrait Gallery have purchased eight of the portraits for the nation’s archive and a book of the entire First Women UK collection launches later in 2018.


First Women UK’s creator Anita Corbin shares her inspiration “With more images being made than ever before, I wanted to provide an alternative to the mainstream and create images of women that demand people look beyond the exterior and find the inner truth. I wanted to celebrate the impact women have had on society over the last 100 years.  I hope that the First Women series will inspire future generations and help them see that it is possible to break down barriers whether they are social, economic, cultural or political. I want these powerful images to offer emotional support to women who seek to be the best they can be; those women who want to aim high and will look at my pictures and see they are not alone.”


Short film of Anita sharing her insight


About Anita Corbin:

Anita Corbin has an eclectic and fascinating background as a leading photographer, working for over 30 years with the likes of The Sunday Times, The Observer and ELLE as well as charities, health trusts and the British Council. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Corbin began her passion in the early 80s photographing women defying the mainstream and flying the flag of individuality in a predominantly male dominated world, something she lived in her own career. These double portraits of girls in subcultures were recently shared as a ‘then’ and ‘now’ in her internationally acclaimed touring exhibition Visible Girls:Revisited.


Throughout her long career, Corbin has focused on the image of women. She still works as a commercial photographer, specialising in portraiture and lives in the West Country with her partner, photographer John O’Grady, 2 standard poodles, a range of photographic paraphernalia and a passion for gardening. Their two grown up children, Daisy and Louis, live in Amsterdam and Bruton, Somerset.

Quick Facts:

  • First Women is photographer Anita Corbin’s legacy of inspirational photographs of ordinary women in the 21st century who have achieved extraordinary things.

  • A 10 year project by Corbin which will celebrate 100 years of Women winning the right to vote.

  • An 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 Everyday of the week 12-5pm. Free Entry

  • The project aims to inspire a new generation of women in the UK to make their mark in society

  • First Women UK plans to expand globally and mark First Women across the globe

  • First Women UK’s patron is Baroness Betty Boothroyd, First Woman Speaker of the House of Commons

  • First Women, the book, launches later in 2018

For interviews, quotes and further information, please contact Vanessa Barlow at Knot Comms  T +44 (0)7713 150943


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



If you have a question, please email us and one of team will answer it as soon as possible.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?