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BDP Principal in First Women Exhibition

Chair of civil and structural engineering Michelle McDowell features in a major new exhibition of 100 iconic portraits of First Women from across the UK.

To mark the anniversary of the centenary of women’s right to vote, photographer Anita Corbin officially unveils her empowering 10 year project documenting 100 pioneering 21st century women who have achieved the landmark title First Woman across a range of disciplines including sport, media, military, faith, business, arts, music and politics. Ordinary women achieving extraordinary things.

Michelle’s portrait features alongside celebrities including Suzi Quatro, Angela Rippon, Jenny Éclair and Victoria Coren-Mitchell, well known leaders Nicola Sturgeon and Dame Inga Beale and high profile sports stars 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.

“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.” Anita Corbin, photographer.

First Women is exhibiting at the Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art in London from 20 July 2018 to 22 August, and entry is free.

Read Michelle’s interview with First Women here.