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Lincoln’s Inn unveils new portrait of Mercy Ashworth

On Tuesday 26 September 2023, Lincoln’s Inn unveiled a new portrait of Mercy Ashworth, who, alongside Mithan Tata, was the first woman member of Lincoln’s Inn to be called to the Bar.

The portrait, commissioned to celebrate the centenary of Mercy’s historic achievement, was created in collaboration with Spark21, a charity that was founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generations of women in law through multi-media processes that include exhibitions and photo mosaics.

Hung in the eponymous Ashworth Centre, the artwork was composed by multimedia artist Rocco Fazzari using individual photographs of Lincoln’s Inn members who identify as women, serving as a powerful symbol that ties the Inn’s heritage to its commitment to a more inclusive future. The photographs were taken at our  ‘Celebrating 100 years of women barristers’ exhibitions held in London, Birmingham and Manchester. 

On the night, Spark21 founder Dana Denis-Smith delivered a speech exploring the composition of the artwork, the collaboration process and outlined the next chapter of their project, Next 100 Years, which is dedicated to achieving equality for women in law. Karen Shuman, Chief Chancery Master, Co-Convenor of the Inns of Court Alliance for Women (ICAW) and Chair of Lincoln’s Inn’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee also spoke, discussing the positive action taken at the Inn whilst acknowledging the work that lies ahead.

We would like to thank all those who participated in the project for their contribution to this special occasion.

Read more about the first women admitted as members of Lincoln’s Inn. In 1920 six women were admitted to the Inn following the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919.