I’ve been fairly busy with the day job in recent weeks and I needed some inspiration. So I decided to see if I could find any by popping into a Waterstones book store on my way home. I was not disappointed when I picked up 100 Leading Ladies by photographer Nancy Honey and interviews by Hattie Garlick.
What makes this book stand out from the crowd for me is that it is very rare to see a collection of images of women emphasising their achievements. Most of the images we see around us emphasis women as objects of desire for the heterosexual male. It does not help that in the UK in 2015 there are still very few women in positions of power.
This book was published last year but by coincidence the BBC are currently running a series of articles under the 100 Women title. One of the BBC articles is a list of what they call inspirational women of 2015. However the BBC list is world wide and not just women in the UK which this book is.
Reading the interview with the photographer at the start of the book it is clear that unlike the list created by the BBC there was no conscious decision to include the individuals that appear on the pages. It was a personal project by the photographer and as the project grew more women got involved as the network of the sitters became ever larger.
Technically the images can’t be faulted and it does show the years of commercial work experience by the photographer. There is a bond too between the sitter and the photographer which shines through in the photographs.
100 Leading Ladies published by Dewi Lewis Media is a wonderful book to add to my collection.