Women’s quest for equality and fulfilment
In light of our previous blog post, where we detail the history of female education within the University of Cambridge. We’ve decided to visit the Heong Gallery at Downing College. Due to its’ current exhibition of Quentin Blake ’40 Women for Downing’. This exhibition is a celebration of the 40 years that females have been academically enrolled in to study at Downing College.
Women in Cambridge
The pursue of education has been a tough road for women. In the past, all the colleges of Cambridge University were exclusive to males. This was the time when, 67 years ago, Quentin Blake came to Cambridge to read English at Downing College. Downing was the first establishment to accept a female student in an all male College, back in 1980.
Shocked with the all-male representation of education in such a prestigious institution, he decided to create a series of drawings to empower women. In a celebration of their quest for education, knowledge and equality.
The outcome of Quentin Blake’s celebration consists of a series of imaginary portraits of women. The 40 portraits that he put together mark each year of the 40 years that women have been part of Downing College education. Therefore the name of this exhibition is ’40 Women for Downing’.
’40 Women for Downing’ exhibition can be found inside Downing College itself, at their Heong Gallery. This exhibition can be found until the 7th of February 2021.
However, there are a few other Blake’s iconic series of drawing at this gallery. From the famous series of Matilda, you can find an exhibition of ‘Matilda at Thirty’, as well as a series called ‘Wayward Locks’, representing the heroic Roald Dahl in eight different professions.
Overall, the three series of drawings exhibited at Heong Gallery represents an honest and inspiring tribute to women towards better opportunities and recognition. “Their quest for equality and the pursuit of knowledge and fulfilment”.
Are you planning to visit Cambridge in the near future? Then add a stop to get inspired at Heong Gallery, Downing College. It is definitely worth to add this exhibition to the Cambridge ‘must to’ list, where Punting in Cambridge has been the ultimate favourite. Let’s Go Punting?