'Trowel Blazing' exhibition to be showed outside of London for the first time

2 May 2017

‘Raising Horizons’ is a new photographic exhibition celebrating the achievements of women archaeologists, anthropologists and geologists. Chester is the first destination for the exhibition outside London when it goes on display at the Grosvenor Museum from May 20 to June 4.

The exhibition highlights the roles and contributions of women in the development of archaeology, palaeontology and geology. It was conceived and crowdfunded by ‘Trowelblazers’ – an international group dedicated to encouraging participation of women in archaeological, geological, and palaeontological science, and created by award winning photographer Leonora Saunders.

Fourteen portraits, posed by women working in the field today, depict an imagined moment in time from the life of a historical counterpart, whose achievements range from discovering one million year old footprints to training virtually a whole generation of archaeologists.

Alison Knight, Director of Place Strategy, Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “I'm delighted that the Grosvenor Museum is the first destination for this wonderful exhibition following its display at the Royal Geological Society in London.

"Paying tribute to the work of our female archaeologists, anthropologists and geologists this exhibition is being brought to Chester thanks to a partnership between Big Heritage and the Grosvenor Museum.”

The exhibition has received generous sponsorship from local businesses and societies; Chester Archaeological Society, Raise Architects, Insall Architects, Chester Grosvenor Hotel , Phonemasters, Beauty shop  and Build Me Consultancy .

Dean Paton, founder of Big Heritage said: “This is an important exhibition which shines a spotlight on the achievement of women who reached the pinnacle of their field, despite the barriers they faced by simply being female. The archaeology of Chester is richer due to the foresight of brilliant women archaeologists. We are lucky as a city to still have outstanding female role-models in archaeology and geology including Professor Cynthia Burke who is the sitter in one of the photographs and a member of the University of Chester, so it is fitting that Chester has been chosen for the exhibition’s first tour.”

The event will be complimented by an evening discussion on May 20 at 7pm on the role of photography in portrayals of gender and identity. This will see Chester based photographers Kat Hannon-Mayo and Sam Ryley explore this theme in conversation within the exhibition’s photographer Leonora Saunders . Tickets are available for free 

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