Some of the most striking moments during the show where those when friends and family of the Firsts came to acknowledge and celebrate them. Perhaps most poignant of all were those who came to commemorate the wonderful women that had passed away since their portrait was taken.
It is an honour to be told by a family member or beloved friends that you have captured the spirit – not just of what made them a First – but that which made them a person well known and loved.
We were joined by a whole host of kith and kin at the RCA show, including Dr Jane Atkinson’s aunty Meg, Rachael Heyhoe-Flint’s son, Ben, Dame Anne Warburton’s niece, Eve and Janice Long’s Dad, Colin. Laura Hirst’s pals came along to see her portrait, as did friends and staff of Archbishop Libby Lane, Michelle J Parker and Moira Cameron. Leslie Yellowlees even had some of her students come to see her!
Firsts Becky Frater, Kat Ker, Dr Angela Strank, Hope Powell and Lucy Giles, brought along their partners, parents, in-laws and children. Annabel Giles’ sister, Wendy came to see her portrait, as did Monica Grady’s sister to see hers.
Most moving of all were the friends and family of Dame Helen Alexander who passed away last year – her husband, children, extended family and best friends.
It was a pleasure to meet you all.