Anita Corbin, a Wellington-based photographer is one of just 11 UK photographers featured in the Art of Photography exhibition in the San Diego Art Institute that finishes this weekend. Now in its 9th year, this presentation of world class photography features just 200 photographs which makes the choice of Anita’s portrait ‘Golfing sisters in the ladies’ locker room, Royal Mid-Surrey, April 2010’ even more special.
The portrait has already attracted attention and been on display to the public at the National Portrait Gallery in 2010 featuring as one of 60 portraits out of 6000 images submitted for the prestigious international Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010.
Anita explains how she came to choose the subject and photograph the sisters in what was an “unexpected” setting. “I met the octogenarian sisters at my best friend’s father’s funeral at the beginning of 2010, they were so full of life and vitality, I just knew I wanted to photograph them for the documentary section of my ongoing project ‘First Women’. I was inspired by their independence and wanted to capture their zest for life.
“The sisters, who are very private individuals and do not want their names revealed, have been members of their golf club for over 40 years, and in their words they ‘love the game’ so we decided ‘The Mid-Surrey’ should be the venue. I had anticipated that I would make the portrait out on the golf course, it was a beautiful spring evening, but we needed to collect their clubs and shoes, so they took me into the impressive ladies locker room first.”
Anita continues, “As they changed shoes we chatted and I realised that they were more relaxed inside the club, so I asked them if they would pose in front of the mirror. A little unsure at first, they soon agreed and stood confidently next to each other, totally at home in their environment. I have been a photographer for over 30 years and I had a very strong feeling that this set up would be the one – and it was!” The sisters described the sitting as ‘A beautiful interlude after tea’.
The portrait is one of the pivotal images in the documentary section of Anita’s project First Women.
This looks at how women will be remembered over the past 100 years. In the years leading up to 2018, the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, Anita is shooting and collecting 100 iconic portraits of 21st century women who have achieved the landmark title “First Woman” across a range of fields.
Although her project is primarily looking at women in the UK, Anita hopes to add to the list Marin Alsop, first female conductor of the Last Night of the Proms together with another prominent American in the UK, Angela Ahrendts, first woman to be at the top of Britain’s executive pay league table.
In 2018 Anita will launch the First Women travelling exhibition throughout the UK in celebration of 20th and 21st century women. The exhibition will feature three types of photography: portraiture, documentary and archive and will be linked to an interactive website as well as the publication of a beautiful photographic book. Each unique portrait will feature extended captions and introductory essays.