Artist puts legal graduates in the picture
A University of Wolverhampton art graduate is putting women in the picture with a series of artistic portraits timed to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Artist, Michaela Gieston, who graduated with Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Fine Art in 2019, was commissioned by the University’s Wolverhampton School of Law and Wolverhampton School of Art after entering a competition to make a series of portraits which captured the personal and professional stories of five women working in the legal profession.
The commission was launched in 2019 by the Schools to mark the centenary of the 1919 Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act which allowed women in the UK to enter the legal profession for the first time as barristers or solicitors.
The portraits will be unveiled ‘digitally’ on International Women’s Day, Monday 8th March 2021 at a free virtual event and will be installed at the Wolverhampton School of Law at the University’s City Campus in Wolverhampton later in the year.
Michaela said: “Working on this exciting project gave me an extraordinary opportunity to meet a number of successful women in law and business. The aim is to celebrate their accomplishments and to spread a positive message to the girls and women considering studying law. All the ladies I have spoken to agreed that everybody who would like to study in the School of Law should definitely go for it. I am happy to share the message from Suzanne Llewellyn, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands: Believe in yourself, we need people from all walks of life.”
Suzanne Llewellyn, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor of West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service said: “I remain inspired by the progressive and innovative work led by the University of Wolverhampton School of Law.
“It was a pleasure to meet Michaela Gieston, whose passion and commitment to her work was truly remarkable. I am privileged to be part of this excellent project and a proud member of the University of Wolverhampton's alumni.
“I am passionate that the legal profession of the future should be inclusive and diverse. It is hugely encouraging to see the University of Wolverhampton’s determination to develop legal professionals for the future who have excellent legal skills and represent the diversity of our society.”
Dr Metka Potocnik, Lecturer in Law at the University, said: “The Women in Law Artwork is crucial for the School in Law in the attempt to increase the visibility and representation of women in the legal profession.
“Inspired by the First 100 Years campaign, we are committed to showcasing the role models and success stories of women who have graduated from the School of Law and are shaping the profession in the region. The stories of our alumnae will play an integral role of inspiration to all current and future students entering practice. Michaela’s work will not only add beauty, creativity and inspiration to our School of Law students, but also celebrate and place its alumnae in its history books.”
Gavin Rogers, Lecturer in Fine Art at the University, said: “As well as raising awareness of representations of women in law, this project has also been the catalyst for many conversations about the challenges that women still face today within both the legal profession and art world. I am sure this project is just the beginning of future collaborations between the Law School and Art School and together we aim to continue to raise awareness of important social injustices and issues as well as celebrating the achievements of our graduates.”
The portrait subjects are as follows:
Suzanne Llewellyn – A graduate of the School of Law and Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands.
Yashmin Mistry – A graduate of the School of Law and Managing Partner at JPC Law.
Carrie Morrison - The first woman to be admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales.
Kay Dunn – A graduate and Teaching Associate in the School of Law.
Elizabeth O Ivwurie – A graduate and a PhD student of Law at the University.
For more information about the courses on offer at the University of Wolverhampton School of Law and the Wolverhampton School of Art please visit the website links. Anyone interested in studying at the University should register for one of the forthcoming Virtual Open Days.
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