Monday, September 14, 2020

"Hold Still" digital exhibition on NPG website



Earlier this year, HRH Duchess of Cambridge - who has been the Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012 - asked everybody to send images for the Hold Still Exhibition - to reflect what life was like during lockdown

Today a digital exhibition of the 100 portrait photographs selected from the 31,598 entries have been unveiled on the National Portrait Gallery website
the images present a unique record of our shared and individual experiences during this extraordinary period of history, conveying humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope.
Images #1-3 of the 100 selected for the digital exhibition "Hold Still"


Hold Still: Three Core Themes


There are three core themes to the exhibition
  • Helpers and Heroes, 
  • Your New Normal and 
  • Acts of Kindness.
Click here to view the images individually - and do take the time to read the narratives alongside each. Sometimes they are not what they seem.

View them all together in the video (below) released today by the National Portrait Gallery.
The final 100 present a unique and highly personal record of this extraordinary period in our history. From virtual birthday parties, handmade rainbows and community clapping to brave NHS staff, resilient keyworkers and people dealing with illness, isolation and loss. The images convey humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope - expressing and exploring both our shared and individual experiences.

Please note this exhibition includes text and images recording people’s recent experiences, which some visitors might find upsetting. If you have been affected by any of the issues reflected in the exhibition, and feel you need support, please click here for some suggested sources of support.



How the exhibition came about


The call for entries for the exhibition was launched by The Duchess of Cambridge and the Gallery back in May
Hold Still invited people of all ages, from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they had taken during lockdown. The project aimed to capture and document the spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation as we continued to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
More images of lockdown in 2020

Judging Panel

The Judges

The Hold Still judging panel included: 
  • The Duchess of Cambridge - who is a keen photographer and is a Patron of both the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Photographic Society
  • Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery - who's grown a beard for the occasion!
  • Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet - who some will remember sat for a Portrait in the Final of Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2020 - in the National Portrait Gallery
  • Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England and 
  • Maryam Wahid, photographer.
The criteria used for assessment of the images by the panel focused on the emotions and experiences they convey rather than on their photographic quality or technical expertise.

You can 

The Exhibition


A selection of the photographs featured in the digital exhibition will also be shown in towns and cities across the UK later in the year.


Note: International law firm Taylor Wessing are supporting the Hold Still project in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery. They are long-term supporters of the Gallery and have sponsored the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for the past 12 years.

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