209 Women

by Hilary Wood in 

We did it
On 17th October 2018 we successfully raised £13,880 with 219 supporters in 42 days

An exhibition in Parliament to mark 100 years of women achieving the vote: 209 new portraits of all women MPs, by women photographers.

by Hilary Wood in

It’s 100 years since the suffrage movement: join us in championing the visibility of women.

To mark 100 years since some women achieved the right to vote, we aim to take over parliament with 209 new photographic portraits of all female MPs, shot exclusively by female photographers, and make it free and open to the public.

On 14th December 1918 women voted for the first time, and in the same year the first female MP was elected. 100 years on, this project marks that significant moment in history, whilst also highlighting the ongoing need for gender equality across society.

'209 Women' is a national artist-led project founded by Hilary Wood that aims to champion the visibility of women, particularly in male-dominated environments. This campaign supports 209 women photographers across the UK to make portraits of women MPs. We’re looking for supporters and champions of women.


Your help will ensure that each photographer receives support to produce their portrait. The total amount raised will be distributed evenly between all 209 artists from across the country.

The aim is that the exhibition will hang in Westminster from 14th December to February 2019 (tbc). It will be curated by Hilary Wood, (founder of '209 Women' and photographer), Tracy Marshall (Director of Development and Partnerships at Open Eye Gallery, Co- Director of Northern Narratives arts initiative) and Cheryl Newman (Artist, curator and former Director of Photography of the Telegraph magazine).

The exhibition is supported by Liverpool City Council. In February 2019, it will travel to Open Eye Gallery, to be exhibited in partnership with Culture Liverpool.

As Alison McGovern MP, chair of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art said: 

 “The women's movement has never been about one person's achievement: it is about all of us. This project carries out that vision, including all kinds of women from all kinds of backgrounds. It is a 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." 

To ensure that all of our women photographers receive support to make this visual statement, we need your help.

Your money will be used to support the visibility of women in power, and those behind the camera that facilitate it. We want to mark the centennial of women achieving the right to vote by staging an all-female portrait takeover in Parliament, and we need your help to make it happen.

@209Women #209Women

Interested in writing about this project? The press pack can be found here. Contact Jacob Bolton at [email protected] for further press materials.

We would like to thank the British Film Institute for granting us use of footage in their archive.

209 Women is supported by Royal Photographic Society and Liverpool City Council.

Thank you to ICON Printing for their kind sponsorship of our Tote bag production.

Image credits:

Behind the scenes: Diane Abbott (Labour), photographed by Karen Knorr. ©Karen Knorr.

Tote Bag:  Design by Jacob Bolton at Open Eye Gallery

Behind The Scenes: Hannah Bardell (SNP), photographed by Sarah Lee.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£5 or more

23 of 500 claimed

Photo Postcard

A postcard print of one of the portraits, with a thank you message from the curatorial team.

£10 or more

209 Women Tote Bag

Champion the visibility of women everywhere you go! Screen printed 100% cotton tote bag.

£100 or more

62 of 209 claimed

Limited Edition Art Book

We’re bringing all of the portraits together in this limited edition book to accompany the exhibition, featuring a new essay about the visibility of women in power. Only 209 copies available! Includes a list of everyone that supports it.

£350 or more

9 of 209 claimed

Champions of Women

209 MPs, 209 photographers and 209 champions... Become an exhibition champion and support one photographer to produce their piece. As a champion, you will be named on the wall of the exhibition, meet the curator and some of the artists, and take part in a group photo 'Champions of Women', shot by one of the project’s photographers. Every champion will receive an exhibition quality print of this to hang in their office or home.

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