City Women: Photographs by Hannah Starkey

In 2019, the Guildhall Art Gallery appointed Hannah Starkey as Guildhall Artist-in-Residence. The residency aimed to support an artist in the development of new work created in and about the Square Mile. The theme for the inaugural residency was ‘Celebrating City Women’.

For over twenty years Starkey has dedicated her photographic practise to the representation of women, usually in city settings. Starkey’s images look like spontaneous moments caught on camera, but they are in fact staged, set-up and cast. She has usually spent many hours scouting out a location and finding the subject(s) for each image. The final artworks each depict a carefully choreographed tableau or Mise en Scene, constructed from the day to day life of women working in the City. These images are heroic and epic, multigenerational and multicultural, reflecting and celebrating the diversity of the women themselves.

‘The city is a remarkable place, and mostly because of the women who populate it.

There are probably more women working within the square mile than ever before. I have spent the last 4 months getting to know them from meeting on the street, being connected through groups, friends and colleagues. Together we have created a series of photographs that depict real women who work in the city.

Entrepreneurs, cleaners, Pret workers, receptionists, bankers and PA’s make up the women in the pictures. Each intended to be representative of the wider female workforce. A celebration and mediation through beauty of the female form against the backdrop of the city. A uniquely female perspective.’ -Hannah Starkey