208 Women in Parliament: female photographers apply!

A new project is seeking 208 female photographers to create 208 portraits of female members of parliament, to mark the centenary of women achieving the vote in 1918. The project will conclude with an exhibition of all the images in the Palace of Westminster in December 2018.

Initiated and curated by photographer Hilary Wood, the project is supported by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art. Alison McGovern MP, committee chair, commented: “The women’s movement has never been about one person’s achievement: it is about all of us. This a project that carries out that vision, including all kinds of women from all kinds of backgrounds. It is a very subtle but very true statement of equality.

The focus in politics has rightly been on getting a critical mass of women involved. But it is the same issue in many sectors, including art itself. The works will show that women can and ought to be portrayed in all their diversity. There is no one way to be a woman artist, to be a woman politician, to be a woman.

Curator Hilary Wood said: “On 14 December 1918 women voted for the first time, and the first woman was elected into parliament. 100 years on this collaborative project marks that significant moment in history. 208 portraits of the female MP’s will be created by 208 female photographic artists/photographers.

2018 marks a fundamental chapter for women, equality, and progress. This project is not only a visual representation of that progress, it also documents and explores the identity of our female representation within the House of Commons”.

The collaborative project is open to female photographers/photographic artists and to those who identify themselves as female. Photographers will be selected from all genres and they will be encouraged to translate their photographic approach to the portraiture brief. The final selection of photographers will be made to reflect the diversity of the medium.

2018 marks 100 years since Parliament passed a law which allowed some women, and all men, to vote for the first time: the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

Applications with five low res image of recent work, a short biography of up to 150 words, and a statement of why you would like to participate and the name of your local female MP, or that of the female MP you would like to photograph, should be made to: hilarywoodportraits@gmail.com by 1 June 2018.

The project is being supported by the Royal Photographic Society, and Fast Forward: Women In Photography.