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Anita Corbin - 'First Women' project & Close-Up: Women in Photo

30 September 2014
Metro very much values long-standing relationships with our clients which often date back many years.  Somerset based photographer Anita Corbin is one such client whose photographic career began in the early 1980’s and has taken her on various paths including shooting editorial portraits for the Observer and Sunday Times magazines and in partnership with John O’Grady specialising in portrait photography as Corbin O’Grady Studio, twelve of their colour portraits have been collected by the National Portrait Gallery.

‘First Women’ is Anita Corbin’s on-going personal legacy project, the inspiration and passion born back in the early days of her career when she shot ‘Visible Girls’, a study of Girls in Subcultures and her experiences gained during her journalistic career, covering stories of human interest involving women.

Ultimately ‘First Women’ will comprise of a unique collection of 100 portraits capturing women in the UK who were ‘first’ in their field of achievement.  Anita shoots creative portraits of women, aiming to capture the essence of the woman herself rather focusing exclusively on her achievement.

The full collection will be revealed in 2018 to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage with the expectation that ‘First Women’ will tour as an exhibition throughout the UK in celebration of 20th and 21st century women.  Eight First Women portraits have already been collected by the National Portrait Gallery.

Anita comments, “First Women will create a magnificent archive for our daughters and their future children, serving as inspiration and an 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.” 

At present there are 61 portraits in Anita’s collection including Betty Boothroyd, former Speaker of the House of Commons; Angela Strank, Technology Vice President at BP and Felicity Aston, Adventurer and climate scientist.  She is actively seeking suggestions of more women with their own ‘firsts’ that she may be able to feature and is asking for the public to contact her if they are aware of women perhaps in their own family, who fulfil the criteria of being first in their field of achievement.

As an additional section to this project, an archival collection of photographs is being complied with the public’s involvement to form part of the exhibition - presenting women through the decades.  Click here for more information.
Metro is also delighted to announce that Anita is joining the discussion panel of women at Metro’s ‘Close Up: Women in Photo’ event at IdeasTap on 14th October.

For more information about First Women

To email Anita with suggestions of ‘Firsts’

To view a video interview with Anita Corbin

To hear radio interviews with Anita on ResonanceFM:
Visible Girls &
Toby Amies and Anita Corbin at Port Eliot Festival

Images © Anita Corbin
1. Golfing Sisters in the Ladies Locker Room Royal Mid-Surrey  (from the documentary section of First Women). Selected for the Taylor Wessing photo prize 2010; Art of Photography Show San Diego 2013 & Renaissance Photo Prize 2014
2. LT Becky Frater - First Woman to fly a Black Cat helicopter
3. Baroness Boothroyd - First Woman to be speaker in the House of Commons and First Women’s patron
4. Clio Gould - First Woman to lead the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
5. Dr Jean Venables - First Woman to be President of ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers)
6. Angela Strank -  First Woman to be vice president of BP
7. Anita Corbin

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