The region’s pioneering women are the focus of a new photographic exhibition, opening this week.Inspirational Women of the North East (IWNE) celebrates heroines including suffragette Emily Davison; writer, archaeologist and spy Gertrude Bell, and best-selling novelist Catherine Cookson.
Less well-known figures such as Maud Burnett, who became the North East’s first-ever female municipal councillor when she was appointed in 1910 are also featured. Modern women who are featured include London 2012 Olympic gold medalist rower Kat Copeland and Newcastle University’s student and polar explorer Bryony Balen, who became the youngest Briton to reach the South Pole at 21 years old.
Bryony said: “I am incredibly proud to be asked to be part of the IWNE exhibition and I hope that others who are told ‘It’s too difficult for a girl’ find the determination, courage and support to succeed anyway.”
Organiser Professor Helen Berry, from Newcastle University said: ‘Now, more than ever, we need to think about what cultural icons are being promoted to young people – young girls in particular.
“History can provide inspirational examples of North East women who achieved extraordinary things. In our own time, we need to make sure we don’t forget either the inspirational women of the past, or the important work that women are doing – often without recognition - in so many walks of life today.”
The exhibition will also feature the works of young artists, such as Newcastle University student painter Kamala Dodd and Bryony Bainbridge, a Fine Art graduate and photographer.
Inspirational Women of the North East opens at the Hatton Gallery on Thursday 3 October, and Newcastle MP Chi Onwuhra, who also features in the exhibition, will be attending the launch. Percussion duo The Ladies of Midnight Blue, featuring Newcastle graduate and journal Culture Club award winner Hannabiell Sanders, will perform. The exhibition is due to run until 21 December.
published on: 2 October 2013