209 Women at UK Parliament / by Alicia Bruce

 It was an honour and genuine pleasure to collaborate with Mhairi Black MP on a portrait for the trailblazing 209 Women which opens at UK Parliament on Friday 14 December, exactly 100 years since women got the vote.

‘Sure and steadfast’ Mhairi Black is the UK’s youngest MP she’s outspoken, a realist and fiercely committed to her constituency.   For me, she's the embodiment of potential for a shifting establishment where the people's voice will be represented directly and honestly in parliament with a foot firmly in reality.

This landmark exhibition features portraits of 209 female MPs, photographed by 209 female photographers. It coincides with the centenary of the first election where women could cast a vote, and one hundred years after women gained the right to sit in Parliament as MPs.

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“Aw they’re brilliant! Of course, you can share the feedback. Like I said, it is the first time I have had my photo taken with no hassle, and no over the top-ness. I even came away with chocolate! So chuffed with it.” Mhairi Black MP on her portraits, (I also made one for her obituary file which I hope she won’t need for a very long time.) 

The portrait subtly references  ‘The Trial of William Wallace at Westminster’ by Daniel Maclise (1870)

The exhibition is curated by Hilary Wood (Founder/Director of ‘209 Women’ and photographer), Tracy Marshall (Director of Development and Partnerships at Open Eye Gallery), Cheryl Newman (Artist, curator and former Director of Photography of the Telegraph magazine), and Lisa Tse (Brand Consultant, TV Producer and founder of women’s club The Sorority).

‘209 Women’ is delivered in partnership with Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool City Council, the Royal Photographic Society and The Sorority.

Other ways to see ‘209 Women’

Visitors attending House of Commons select committees in Portcullis House during the run of the exhibition can also view ‘209 Women’.

After Portcullis House, the exhibition will be displayed at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.

Follow the exhibition on social media using #209women.