The HERStory of Rye 2022 calendar

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Make a date with Rye’s own calendar girls, a celebration of 85 portraits of women working in Rye.

This calendar can be found this week at Adams in the High Street and other venues around town, in aid of the mayor’s charities for young people. The publication also launches a year-long photographic project honouring women of all ages who work in and around Rye.

Veteran photographer Susan Benn, who lives locally, began photographing women at work around the world years ago. While researching her own archive alongside photographs in the Mary Stormont collection at the Rye Art Gallery, she created the WOMEN WORK show in The Stormont Room at the Rye Art Gallery in 2019.

During pandemic lockdowns, conversations with the mayor and others about a new long form photographic documentation project on Rye women began. One woman suggested others who suggested others and the network has grown to reveal the diversity and resourcefulness, skills, passions and generosity of these remarkable women who make Rye the community it is. Susan shot the calendar portraits during the summer of this year and she will continue shooting many more women throughout this year and into next year to create a celebratory exhibition next summer. Ryers and their families will be invited at that time to explore together photographs of themselves, their daughters, their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers who are working or have worked in Rye in the past.

With the encouragement of the Rye Heritage Centre and Rye Castle Museum and other interested parties we hope this unique resource can be developed for future generations in and beyond Rye to enjoy.

Please do send your suggestions for women working in and around Rye to be included in the exhibition to: susanbenn@mail.com (please note it’s not Gmail).

Image Credits: HERStory .

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