Review: First Women, Anita Corbin at St George’s Hall
until 31st August

“Since the world began, men and women have held up the sky between them, but men have written the histories, and women have been, by and large, written out.”

This quote from Dame Hilary Mantel is placed at the entrance of Anita Corbin’s solo exhibit, 100  First Women Portraits. The photographic display aims to, in a sense, write women back into the histories by bringing to light many notable women who broke through glass ceilings in their fields. These fields are diverse, ranging from science to sports, among many other areas of expertise.

Over a period of ten years, Corbin built relationships with all 100 women pictured during their 2-hour portrait sessions. The time and energy put forth in such a task is evidenced by the spirit and personality seen in the resulting portraits. Corbin studied at The Royal College of Art, and her work has always focused on the image of women. She has spent much of her career covering human interest stories for magazines including The Sunday Times and The Observer.

Visitors to the exhibition so far have praised it, calling it “excellent,” “amazing,” and saying that it is inspiring to young photographers and puts a great emphasis on the achievements of the women.

Such an endeavor could easily become an impersonal view of career successes, by Corbin brings a very personal tone to all the portraits, giving the viewer a feeling of insight and connection into that woman’s story, whether it be about chemistry, swimming, or playing poker. The women are as diverse in demographics as they are in skill sets, with ages at the time of portraiture ranging from 18 to 102 years.

The exhibit is inspirational and educational, and highly worth a visit.

Located deep in the basement of St. George’s Hall, this exhibit is free to enter and is open daily, 10:00-5:00