“Trowel Blazing” exhibition coming to Chester

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Chester has been chosen as the destination for the first viewing outside of London for an important photographic exhibition that celebrates the achievements of women archaeologists, anthropologists and geologists.

‘Raising Horizons’ which  highlights the roles and contributions of women in the development of archaeology, palaeontology and geology, will be on display at the Grosvenor Museum from May 20th to June 4th.


The exhibition has been conceived and crowdfunded by “Trowelblazers” and international group dedicated to encouraging participation of women in archaeological, geological, and paleontological science, and created by award winning photographer Leonora Saunders.  The 14 portraits that make up the exhibition are 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.

The exhibition has been displayed in the Royal Geological Society in London, but has been brought to Chester thanks to a   partnership between Big Heritage and the Grosvenor Museum. To cover the cost, several local businesses and societies have sponsored an individual portrait, including Chester Archaeological Society, Raise Architects, Donald Insall Associates, Kenney Moore, Chester Grosvenor Hotel , Phonemasters, Jo Jacques Health & Beauty  and Build Me Consultancy. Liz Montgomery of the Grosvenor Museum is delighted to be hosting the exhibition and is grateful for the support of the local businesses.

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 star of 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.”

A discussion evening on the 20th May at 7pm will focus on the role of photographs in portrayals of gender and identity. Chester based photographers Kat Hannon-Mayo and Sam Ryley will be talking to the exhibition’s photographer Leonora Saunders . Tickets are available for free :  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/raising-horizons-exhibition-launch-tickets-33990197596



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