Extraordinary Women exhibition to open at Chester Cathedral

24th May 2022

Chester Cathedral is getting ready to welcome a hard-hitting exhibition of images taken from the fifty-year career of renowned late photojournalist, Tom Stoddart in a new partnership with the city’s Women’s Aid charity.

Extraordinary Women’ exhibition to open at Chester Cathedral

Extraordinary Women: Images of Courage, Endurance, and Defiance’ celebrates the strong will of women throughout the world, showing them living in times of war, poverty and hardship. It goes on show in the Cathedral from 9 June to 11 July.

Stoddart’s long career took him all over the world and he captured countless pivotal moments in modern history: from the war in Lebanon (during which he accompanied celebrated Sunday Times foreign correspondent Marie Colvin), the fall of the Berlin Wall and covering the HIV/AIDs pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

Extraordinary Women lifts images curated for Stoddart’s final book of the same title and depicts the real women upholding communities wherever he travelled.

The Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford, Dean of Chester, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Extraordinary Women: Images of Courage, Endurance, and Defiance to Chester Cathedral this summer. The work of Stoddart is challenging, thought-provoking, and moving: all qualities present in our own Cathedral church. We are thrilled to be able to provide a space for people to encounter these images, particularly in this Platinum Jubilee year.”

The exhibition brings with it an exciting partnership between Chester Cathedral and Chester Women’s Aid.

Angela Benson, Chair of Chester Women’s Aid, said:

“Chester Women’s Aid (CWA) are honoured to partner with Chester Cathedral for the Extraordinary Women exhibition. Both the artist Tom Stoddart and CWA share the desire to celebrate and make visible the courage, endurance, strength and defiance of women in hardship.

“We believe in the right of all women to live free from fear and abuse. This thought provoking and inspiring exhibition demonstrates Chester Cathedral’s position as a cultural and social cornerstone of our community, and we are proud to support them in this event.”

Sharon Price, co-founder of Photo North and curator of the exhibition, said:

“Tom was a guiding light towards the truth and the good for many, it was an honour to be personally asked by Tom to curate this exceptional body of work for Chester Cathedral and to be able to bring it to the people of Chester.”

Chester Cathedral is grateful to The King’s School, Chester, for their generous sponsorship of the exhibition.

For all Chester Cathedral events – check out its website here.

Chester Women’s Aid will have a dedicated space alongside the exhibition with material on their work available to visitors.