Black Cultural Archives is proud to reveal the latest instalment of its Stories of Black Leadership series celebrating the achievements of Black British women in the UK.

Created by the artist, Joy Gregory, and sponsored by JP Morgan, Breaking Barriers follows on from last year’s successful exhibition, Radiating Greatness. The second chapter of a three-year project, it aims to make visible the journeys of four pioneering Black British women who have overcome adversity to take their rightful seat at the table.

Dame Linda Dobbs DBE, Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE, Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE and Shirley Thompson OBE have shared their personal experiences not only to demonstrate the excellence present in Britain’s Black community but to show others what can be achieved.

These inspirational and impactful women are at once daring, resilient, determined, brilliant and extremely talented women. They are role models for our times, for all ages, all races, all gender identities, and for future generations to come.

Drawing inspiration from the 16th and 17th century portraits of aristocrats that hang in our national collections, the body language of the subjects allude to the inner strength that each woman has summoned throughout various points along their life’s path. Gregory’s decision to photograph the women in colour was inspired by the rich hues of the oil paints that were historically used to paint people in positions of power.

Breaking Barriers opens at the Black Cultural Archives on Saturday 29 February 2020 until mid June.