M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment partners Getty for women’s sport exhibition

Jessica Ennis overlooked by photographers as she lies on the ground to celebrate her Olympic heptathlon gold
Jessica Ennis celebrates winning Olympic heptathlon gold in 2012 (Getty Images/Ezra Shaw)

The show explores how women’s sport has been captured over the past 50 years.

M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment has partnered Getty Images to launch an exhibition that shines a spotlight on women's sport.

Taking place at the Saatchi Gallery, the exhibition, entitled "In-focus: women's sport through the lens", is supported by O2 and contains photography that explores how women's sport has been captured over the past 50 years.

Images featured include tennis players Billie Jean King holding court with the media in 1971, and Serena Williams comforting Naomi Osaka at the 2018 US Open, and heptathlete Jessica Ennis surrounded by photographers as she celebrated winning her Olympic gold in 2012 (pictured).

Open to the public from today (12 April) until 28 April, the show aims to bring to life the moments that lit up our TV screens, were splashed across the newspapers and "broke" the internet. Images have been selected that address cultural conversations about equality, anatomy, motherhood, mental health and activism.

The exhibition concludes with an empowering vision of how female athletes could be portrayed in the future, reflecting the creative style that fans, brands and media want to see more of. M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment wants to raise awareness of the opportunity for brands to be part of the growth of women's sport through the power of the image.

The exhibition has been curated in partnership with leading voices in women's sport, including Anna Kessel, women's sport editor, The Telegraph; Shaunagh Brown, England and Harlequins rugby player; Jude Hamer, British wheelchair basketball athlete; Lauren Rowles, British paralympic rower, and Jacqueline Bourke, head of creative insights EMEA, Getty Images.

Jenny Mitton, women's sport lead at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, said: "This is going to be a monumental year for women's sport. As an agency we want to shine a light on not only the positive role brands can play in the growth of women's sport, but the commercial benefit they can expect to see as a result.

"We're seeing rapidly growing audiences who are young, diverse and value brands, who champion equality. As an agency, we are dedicated to making passions more equitable and inclusive, helping brands drive meaningful change, starting with representing female athletes as they want the world to see them."

Bourke added: "At Getty Images, we passionately champion the authentic representation of female sports. Bringing transformative equity forward for women and girls in sports requires work on a multitude of fronts. We believe media companies, brands and sports rights-holders can all do their part in changing the perceptions of female sport by changing the visuals they choose (or create).

"Being more inclusive and intersectional, moving away from stereotypes of female athletes to images that focus on skill and athletic ability – it has never been more important to reimagine a new world for female sports."

This exhibition offers up the first example of M&C Saatchi Group's support of the Saatchi Gallery, as a principal patron, a partnership that is focused on driving positive cultural change and making art, culture, and creativity accessible to all.

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