Baroness Boothroyd visits Newmarket exhibition celebrating the Century’s most influential women

Matt Hancock MP, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, Chris Garibaldi, Anita Corbyn and Rachel Hood. Picture: P

Matt Hancock MP, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, Chris Garibaldi, Anita Corbyn and Rachel Hood. Picture: PALACE HOUSE - Credit: PALACE HOUSE

The first ever female Speaker of the House of Commons, Baroness Boothroyd, attended photographer Anita Corbin’s exhibition of 100 portraits on display at Palace House, Newmarket, as part of the First Women project.

The exhibition was created in 2018 to mark the centenary commemoration of the Representation of the People Act, which granted the vote to women over 30 years old, a monumental step on the path towards universal sufferage.

First Women’s patron, Baroness Betty Boothroyd is a great supporter of the First Women project, which aims to develop the awareness of the possibilities available to women.

A decade-long project by Corbin, the exhibition features personalities such as Felicity Aston, boxer Nicola Adams and singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro.

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was also in attendance to the exhibition, which is running until June 10.

The Secretary of State said on Twitter: “So proud to join the amazing Baroness Boothroyd at @palacehouse_nkt to view #100FirstWomen @FirstWomenUK.”

Corbin first sprang to prominence in the early 1980s with her series of informal portraits of young women – Visible Girls – and went on to become a highly-regarded reportage and portrait photographer.

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She then began to train her lens on “ordinary women achieving extraordinary things” in a variety of disciplines, including sport, media, faith, business and politics.

Corbin said: “From ages 18 to 102 years old and in fields of expertise covering everything from beatboxing to bomb detection, I wanted to create an impressive visual story of female potential, fantastic role models that will hopefully inspire other women and men, of all generations, now and in the future.

“In a long history dominated by notable males, 100 First Women Portraits asks: ‘What is it about women that can inspire you?’”

Chris Garibaldi, director of Palace House, said: “As part of our raison d’être here at Palace House, we like to give the public fresh glimpses into our sporting and cultural past, present and indeed, future.

“I couldn’t be prouder that we are hosting such an inspirational exhibition as 100 First Women Portraits here at Newmarket.”

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