About First Women
First Women comprises a unique collection of 100 portraits capturing women in the UK who were “first” in their field of achievement. The portraits by photographer Anita Corbin provide inspiration and 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. The full collection will be revealed in 2018 to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage.
In the years leading up to 2018 Anita Corbin will shoot and collect iconic portraits of 21st century women who have achieved the landmark title “First Woman” across a range of fields. In 2018 Anita plans to launch the First Women travelling exhibition throughout the UK in celebration of 20th and 21st century women, creating a magnificent archive for our daughters and their future children.
First Women, The Collection, is about women’s achievements, and one woman’s exploration through the camera lens that endeavours to answer the question: How will women be remembered over the past 100 years? What have they achieved in the fields of Sport, Science, Politics, the Arts and Education? And who were these remarkable “first” women, what did they look like?
First Women is the project that Anita has waited all her life to create. Her passion was born out of work she began in the early eighties – her Visible Girls portfolio was symbolic of women’s new found freedom to be whoever they wanted to be – and fired by years spent working as a top female photographer for The Sunday Times and The Observer when she was often sent to cover “human interest” stories involving women. All this experience has culminated in Anita’s vision – the creation of a legacy for future generations of women to enable them to understand and appreciate the achievements of their forebears – and perhaps even to laugh incredulously that once upon a time women were regarded as second class citizens without a vote.
The First Women team is a group of talented professionals, from a range of backgrounds, who have been brought together by a passion for the arts. Their skills and expertise combine to create a formidable team, which works tirelessly to support this important venture. We really couldn’t do it without them.
Drew Sarah Llewellyn is a talented marketeer, who works to keep the First Women project in the spotlight by providing us with her specialist marketing consultancy from her company, Qballyhoo. Drew is both a qualified designer and a Chartered Marketer, which gives her a unique understanding of both the creative and strategic aspects of marketing. She combines this rare quality with excellent instincts honed over her two decades of working in marketing and promotions for various industries including IT & online communications, wine & spirits and latterly in Higher Education – where she first started to work with Anita. Drew now represents a wide rage of clients, overseeing everything from brand designs of small artisan companies to integrated campaigns for the NHS, as well as providing strategic marketing support for businesses operating in Europe and the US. Drew has been working on the First Women Project since 2008, providing invaluable marketing support to Anita and the team – and ensuring that the wider world hears about the venture.
Jane Adkins is a consummate communications professional, who provides us with hard working media relations programmes. Her PR skills work to keep the First Women project in the press – and to let the world know what we’re doing, and why. Based in Dorset, and heading up A Head for PR Ltd, Jane is also a trained journalist, having spent over a decade working in the media in London. Jane brings to the team fifteen years of experience working in the PR industry, which has resulted in long-established and beneficial relationships with both the UK and international press. As founder of A Head for PR, Jane works with a disparate range of clients, including travel and tourism companies, lifestyle, charities and food and drink firms. Jane and her daughter Rhiannon, who handles the videography side of the business, joined the team in June 2009.
Carole Manley describes herself as a stickler for detail which makes her an ideal PA and researcher for First Women UK. Her background in Education Administration means that Carole is well versed in using IT and her experience as an Office Manager means she has an armoury of business skills at her disposal to support the project as it grows in sophistication. As well as maintaining the database of first women and documentary contributors, Carole is also a keen social media user and will work with the rest of the team to ensure First Women UK communicates its inspirational vision far and wide. Her keen interest in the Arts has seen Carole acting and singing in the first performance of a play on the stage of The Rose in Kingston upon Thames in 2003 and she has sung in performances all over London including the Royal Albert Hall and the Festival Hall for the London Chorus as well as the Voice Lab, a funded project run from the RFH.