“when you take a photograph of someone, you take a portrait of their soul”
― Winna Efendi
Portraits and the stories behind them; it’s an age-old fascination, and one which comes to life in a new book and exhibition. The book is A Portrait of Influential Senior Women in Britain, the exhibition is 100 Leading Ladies, and they are a brilliantly realised combination of the talents of Nancy Honey and Hattie Garlick, themselves influential in their fields and beyond.
For this exclusive occasion , I had to wear a unique piece of jewellery, one that combines nobility and success. These unique earrings from our NoonMas Collection at Mas & Morjan is a one off piece and was designed especially for a captivating and fiery energy such as a Leading Lady.
The drop ruby earrings were combined with the properties of the Citrine Quartz surrounded by diamonds in a triangle concept . While the ruby stimulates the base Chakra, increasing vitality and motivation, bringing a sense of power to the wearer and propels one toward prosperity and achievement. The citrine quartz also known as the ‘ Success stone’ is a solar plexus chakra stone used metaphysically to increase, magnify and clarify personal power and energy. Combining these properties in a three-sided polygon pointing upwards gives this piece of jewellery not only the concept of combing mind, body and spirit, but also a passionate and fire energy to the wearer.
Nancy Honey & Hattie Garlick
Photographer Nancy Honey has over 30 years of experience when it comes to producing some of the most interesting, iconic, and exceptional portraits of our time. She knows her subjects, she studies them, learns about them, and uses that knowledge to help her create her works of art, showing her subjects in the way they need to be shown.
Using portraiture as storytelling, Honey is able to document the lives of those people who call to her, who intrigue her, and whose stories are, she feels, in need of being brought out into the open. She started with herself, creating immaculate self portraits that got to the heart of who she was, who she is, and who she would like to be. These introspective works made way for more outward looking portraits, as once one knows oneself, it is easier to know others. The awards she has won during her life only go to prove that this is indeed the truth.
Honey’s portraits are used in private commissions, in advertising and corporate areas, and can be found in both public and private exhibitions and collections across the world. The “Portrait of Influential Senior Women in Britain” project appealed to her immediately.
But a book about influential women is not just about the stunning portraits. It is about their work, their lives, and their dreams as well. Journalist Hattie Garlick interviewed each of the women included within the book (all 100 of them), and gained an insight into how each one ticks. Fascinating and genuinely important, these interviews enable every reader to understand more about the women featured – and some of the details may be a surprise.
Hattie Garlick graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, and immediately found work at the Times, where she stayed for six years. During this time, Garlick found her feet as a journalist and writer, and was able to use the skills she gained to further to career (including work with the Guardian, Huffington Post, Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph). It’s social justice that really interests her, and she uses her passion and talent to help make the world a better place. Her blog (www.freeourkids.co.uk) is all about helping children have a natural, fun, and most importantly free (as far as possible) childhood – cost saving and learning are both essential here; she started the website just after she was made redundant, and has been helping other families in similar situations ever since.
With Honey’s portraits and Garlick’s interviewed words (making sure that the questions asked were relevant to the subject, tailored to each individual), the book began to take shape. But without backing, the project was going to be hard pushed to succeed in the way it needed to.
Below is a pic with (in my opinion number 101) the fabulous Lorraine Heggessey (in the middle) the first ever woman to be Controller of BBC One and who also happens to be Simon Cowell’s ex boss 😉
The Sorority stepped up to become an important partner for the portrait project. This networking group enables women to develop new relationships with the right people who can help and progress whatever business ideas and projects might be headed their way. This is a women for women working site, and it gives girl power a whole new meaning – this is all about powerful, influential females who are using their influence and skills to help other women gain a foothold in the corporate world and what better example of a powerful and influential woman than the Founder herself Lisa Tse (left).
Although The Sorority is the main partner for the exhibition and book, there are a number of different sponsors. These include Unilever, HSBC Bank, Linklaters, Healeys Print Group, the Guardian, Butterfield, Upper Street, and more. Some, such as Butterfield and Upper Street are sponsoring the book. Some like HSBC and Linklaters are sponsoring the exhibition. And some, including Unilever have chosen to sponsor both aspects of the project.
The Women in the Portraits
With 100 different women to document, it would be impossible to list each and every one here. But suffice it to say, there is not one field that is not covered by this project, not one area of life that isn’t touch by the endeavour in some way. And that is what makes A Portrait of Senior Influential Women in Britain so exciting, and so unique. It offers everyone who reads the book or visits the exhibition the chance to be inspired, to think that could be me, and to go on and do something about it.
Take Helen Browning OBE, for example. She is a leading light in organic farming and chief executive of the Soil Association. Or what about Professor Dame Athene Donald DBE FRS? She just happens to be a professor of experimental physics. Then there is Gail Rebuck DBE, the chair of Penguin Random House UK. Not to mention Lady Susan Rice CBE, the managing director of Lloyds Banking Group, and the first woman to be at the head of a UK clearing bank. Olga Polizzi OBE (world renowned hotelier), Mary Contini (high profile cook and writer), Margaret Hodge (Labour MP), Joy Larkcom (gardener and gardening writer) and Terry Marsh Former Executive Director of WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) (pic below) are also included.
The stories that these women – and the others on the list – tell to Hattie Garlick, the way they are captured forever on camera by Nancy Honey, their lives and accomplishments… they are all fascinating, and what is more, they are all women who have pushed themselves to be the best they can be. Whatever their interests, whatever it is they are best at, they all have that in common; they all gave and still give everything to their causes.
There are achievements upon achievements in this list of one hundred women – each one different, each one worth celebrating.
For more information about the exhibition please visit http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/100-leading-ladies
For the List of the 100 Leading Ladies of Britain please visit http://www.thesorority.org/100leadingladies/complete_list.php
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Saturated by jewels….or am I?