Britain’s first astronaut preferred women’s underwear!

Britain’s first astronaut preferred women’s underwear!

30th April 2024

Alight Media commissioned artist Martin Firrell to create ‘Brought to Light’ an annual series of public art billboards and posters highlighting lesser-known stories of social value.

The first artworks under the Brought to Light banner highlight the achievements of Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman.  On 18 May 1991, a young woman from Sheffield blasted off into space and orbited the earth for 8 days, making British herstory!

Britain’s first astronaut preferred women’s underwear! brings to light the gender of Britain's first astronaut with the intention of promoting equality of opportunity for all British people.

The first woman on the Mir space station set off from Sheffield brings to light the idea that it makes no difference where you start off from; it's where you end up that matters.

Britain’s first astronaut went where no woman has gone before brings to light, in a playful way, the profoundly serious point that women are trailblazers, pioneers, experts, and herstory makers.

‘These public artworks are not so much about me, but about how there is a place for everyone in science and exploration.’ Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut.

Martin Firrell is an internationally acclaimed Franco-British public artist long associated with the international Out of Home industry. He uses art to engage the public in conversations that, in the artist’s own words, ‘aim to make the world more humane’.

‘Alight media is built on inclusivity and positive connections. We commissioned Brought to Light from Martin Firrell to connect people across the UK with socially important stories - in this instance, with the story of a pioneering young woman from Sheffield who went, literally, out of this world.’ Matthew Dearden CEO Alight Media.

Brought to Light appeared from 4-29 March 2024 across Alight Media’s digital billboard and poster network, bringing socially engaged public art to half of all UK adults.