“TO REPRESENT AND BE PRESENTED FOR WHAT WE ARE – AS WOMEN, BY WOMEN – IS A VERY SPECIAL THING. THIS IS WHAT 209 WOMEN IS ALL ABOUT.”
Helen Pankhurst, Great Granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst
209 Women is an exhibition at Portcullis House, London (Houses of Parliament). It launches 100 years to the day that the first women achieved the right to vote in the UK. In February, it will travel North to Open Eye Gallery.
LONDON: 14 DEC – 14 FEBRUARY
LIVERPOOL: 28 MARCH – 14 APRIL
To mark 100 years since some women achieved the right to vote, we are taking over parliament with 204 new photographic portraits of all female MPs, shot exclusively by female photographers, and making it free and open to the public.
On 14th December 1918 women voted for the first time, and in the same year the first female MP was elected. 100 years on, this project marks that significant moment in history, whilst also highlighting the ongoing need for gender equality across society.
‘209 Women’ is a national artist-led project founded by Hilary Wood that aims to champion the visibility of women, particularly in male-dominated environments.
The exhibition will hang in Westminster from 14th December to February 2019. It will be curated by Hilary Wood (Founder/Director of ‘209 Women’ and photographer), Tracy Marshall (Director of Development and Partnerships at Open Eye Gallery), Cheryl Newman (Artist, curator and former Director of Photography of the Telegraph magazine) and Lisa Tse (Brand Consultant, TV Producer and founder of women’s club The Sorority).
The exhibition is supported by Liverpool City Council. In February 2019, it will travel to Open Eye Gallery, to be exhibited in partnership with Culture Liverpool.
As Alison McGovern MP, chair of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art said:
“The women’s movement has never been about one person’s achievement: it is about all of us. This project carries out that vision, including all kinds of women from all kinds of backgrounds. It is a subtle but very true statement of equality.”
“The focus in politics has rightly been on getting a critical mass of women involved. But it is the same issue in many sectors, including art itself. The works will show that women can and ought to be portrayed in all their diversity. There is no one way to be a woman artist, to be a woman politician, to be a woman.”
Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, by Hannah Starkey