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Putney celebrates 125 years with Alumnae Portrait Exhibition

Putney High School GDST will unveil of a series of portraits, of twelve trail-blazing alumnae, on 8 November

Posted by Jo Golding | November 07, 2018 | School life

This year Putney High School GDST celebrates its 125th birthday with the unveiling of a series of portraits of twelve trail-blazing alumnae.

Photographer Anita Corbin, herself a Putney alumna, and the artist behind the critically acclaimed Visible Girls and First Women UK exhibitions, has gathered twelve pioneering women who attended the school over the generations and have gone on to make their mark in the world.

“My overall impression from meeting all the women was their absolute ‘can do’ attitude. They all had such great energies and were all so confident in their own identity, they also had a spirit of non-conformity – not feeling the need to fit into a norm,” says photographer Anita Corbin. 

Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophie Kinsella) commented: “We were very encouraged to use our imaginations, to do drama, to do activities, to express ourselves and so I really did start off in those early days realising that it was a valid occupation…to tell stories. I am very grateful for that.

“All my heroines prevail like true Putney High girls, they succeed, even though succeeding at the end of the story may not quite be what they thought it was at the beginning of the book. This is a lesson I have learned from and can apply to life.” 

“I was really lucky to receive a brilliant education, to read lots and lots of books. Get bored, knock around the house, stare out of the window and let your brain go to places that even your teachers may not be able to find you.”

“The irony was that I was a journalist but I really wasn’t interested in facts, I never have been and I never will be. I can’t remember them, I’d rather live in a fantasy world.”

Her subjects are:

Sophy Gardner. Former RAF Wing Commander

Sophie Simnett. Actor

Mary Coombs. Computer Programmer

Baroness Virginia Bottomley of Nettlestone. Chancellor, University of Hull; Trustee, The Economist & Life Peer

Formerly Secretary of State for Health and for National Heritage

Aicha McKenzie. Director of AMCK and Choreographer

Dr Sandie Okoro. Lawyer and Senior Vice President at the World Bank Group

Jenny Beavan OBE. Oscar-winning Costume Designer

Sophie Raworth. Journalist and Broadcaster

Madeleine Wickham. Author, (pen name) Sophie Kinsella

Pippa Greenwood. Botanist, TV and Radio Broadcaster and Writer

Ailsa Bosworth MBE. Founder and CEO of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

Anita Corbin. Photographer

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