AN EXHIBITION celebrating and inspiring the women of Newport has been making waves in the city.

'Women of Newport' is a photography exhibition by Kamila Jarczak, whose previous work includes an exhibition highlighting the positive side of Newport.

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The exhibition features photos of 35 inspirational women from Newport and is on show at the Escape Rooms on Griffin Street.

Mrs Jarczak explains why she included one of the women in this exhibition

Kamila Jarczak has been working on the project since December, building up a network of people, raising the funds needed and photographing the numerous women involved.

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She said: “As the project grew, so did my network of people which really helped

“I used South Wales Argus a lot to help me research and then it was largely word of mouth.”

The first woman Kamila Jarczak photographed with this exhibition in mind was Marie Lowe (a.k.a Miss Rie) a tattoo artist who competed on E4’s Tattoo Artist of the Year (2017).

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Miss Rie is featured in the exhibition (Picture: Kamila Jarczak)

From there, the interest grew, with the gallery featuring a hugely diverse range of people, with some in their teens and others in their seventies.

Featured are roller derby player Georgina Berry, politician Dame Rosemary Butler, singer Selena Jerome, writer Sarah Hayden-Woods, editor Nicole Garnon, actress Alexandria Riley, wrestler Nadia Sapphire, MP Jessica Morden, and many more.

A collage featuring smaller photos included in the exhibition

The project was self-funded, although Kamila Jarczak also called upon the public to contribute to a Kickstarter.

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“It was hard and I doubted myself at times," admitted Kamila.

"I risked a lot with this exhibition. It would have been impossible to do everything alone, but I've had so much help and support from the community.

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“Part of my inspiration for this exhibition was artist Stephanie Roberts who created a memorial on the forgotten women of WWI and Sylvia Mason who wrote about them.

“They focused on women of the past and I’m focused on women of the present.”

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The venue was full for the launch of the exhibition last week and has attracted visitors since, with people sharing their praise on social media.

“This project has been amazing because it’s become a network of people working together and helping each other," added Kamila Jarczak.

“Everyone feels negative once in a while, but I wanted to bring something positive to the city and lift people’s spirits.

“There are issues in Newport, but the city also has great potential which I wanted to help showcase.

"It's been so popular, and I've received so many messages from people supporting the project or wanting to get involved, so this won't be the end."

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Mrs Jarczak has many options on where to take the project next, but for now guests can enjoy her artwork at The Escape Rooms, Griffin Street, between 10am and 2pm tomorrow or on Friday.