From tough women to raw imagery: Getty Images Gallery explores major global change

Image credit: Mads Perch, Getty Images

Getty Images Gallery’s latest exhibition, Creative in Focus, maps the evolution of our relationship with contemporary imagery, at a time of significant global developments in politics, society and technology. This thought-provoking show highlights a full range of cultural shifts, with a series of original and challenging images.

The representation of women in popular culture has been rapidly evolving over recent decades. As the debate around gender politics intensifies, this exhibition champions the emergence of the 'gritty woman' in creative imagery, as brands begin to challenge stereotypes and embrace a fiery female mentality. This woman is a fighter and a phenomenon, more concerned with what she can do than how she should look.

The influx of this type of imagery is reflected in search data. Getty Images has observed a 173 per cent increase in searches for 'woman' and 'gritty' over the past year in the UK alone.

Also featured at the gallery is an interesting depiction of the widespread optimism about the possibilities unlocked by virtual reality (VR) technology. Rather than looking at an image, we are now able to immerse ourselves in it. We’re no longer seeing; we’re experiencing. This excitement around VR is also mirrored by online search terms, with searches for 'virtual reality' surging 321 per cent globally, as people accept its inevitability as a major technological development.

The recent demand for a rawer form of storytelling is also evident in the images on display. Influenced by the methods of photojournalists, we are seeing 'unfiltered' imagery enter the mainstream. This trend illustrates a move towards a documentary-style aesthetic, reflecting our desire for greater transparency from the media we consume.

Andrew Saunders, Senior Vice President, Creative Content at Getty Images, said: “This is an exciting time as we are at the tipping point in a number of areas; scepticism around virtual reality, for example, has been replaced by excitement for what it allows us to achieve visually.

“Brands are also rejecting glossy advertising in favour of adopting a rawer storytelling aesthetic, and the ever-increasing circulation of people, goods and information around the world is enabling us to find our feet in a global neighbourhood. The exhibition celebrates these developments and showcases the innovative ways our photographers have tackled the visualisation of new trends.”

The Creative in Focus exhibition takes place from 22 February - 18 March 2017 at the Getty Images Gallery in London.

All images courtesy of Getty Images. Main image: Mads Perch, Getty Images

Image credit: Ellis Nadler, Getty Images

Image credit: Ellis Nadler, Getty Images

Image credit: Eri Morita, Getty Images

Image credit: Eri Morita, Getty Images

Image credit: Mark Horn, Getty Images

Image credit: Mark Horn, Getty Images

Image credit: MoMo Productions, Getty Images

Image credit: MoMo Productions, Getty Images