The First 100 Years Project
We have been proud to donate our time and engineering expertise to help ‘The First 100 Years Project’ unveil its first unique artwork, which features women from the legal profession. Turner Prize nominated artist, Catherine Yass, was commissioned to create the artwork after being chosen in a competitive process, judged by a panel that included Baroness Hale (President of the Supreme Court), Mark Omerod (Chief Executive of the Supreme Court), Dana Denis Smith and David Standish (both from Spark 21, the charity founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generations of women in the professions).
The artwork’s unveiling is perfectly timed for the celebrations of the centenary of 1919 Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, which allowed women to practice law. The First 100 Years project is a ground-breaking venture which celebrates women’s contribution to the law over the last 100 years and has the long-term aim of ensuring a strong and equal future for all in the legal profession.
The artwork is displayed in Courtroom Two of the Supreme Court, an apt location as this was where the first majority-female court sat in October 2018. London Studio Associate, Jess Foster, who worked on the project commented. “The challenge of the project was to hang four pieces of artwork in a room where the soundproof finishes meant we couldn’t apply fixings to, or through any of the walls. Archives searches didn’t tell us what was beyond the ceiling, so we had to investigate the ceiling void to find what structure we could feasibly reach, and whether there were services which would cause obstructions.”
In the spirit of The First 100 years Project, our all-female team led by Jess with assistance from intern Georgie ,worked with Jordan Kaplan of the Contemporary Art Society and specialist installation team MDM Props Ltd. to mount the artwork. Key considerations that the team had to take into account were providing enough flexibility in the system so that the artist, Cathering Yass, could finalise the hanging positions during the installation. Also, if the exhibition is ever moved or removed, that the system can be safely and easily demounted, without further opening up of the ceiling.
Jess was proud to attend the unveiling of the artwork this week, where the order of the day was the celebration of the progress made by female lawyers in the last hundred years . A commitment was also made to bringing about the kinds of changes that will help girls and women have equal access to a strong and bright future in the legal profession and inspire future generations of female lawyers.