National Portrait Gallery presents: ‘Hold Still’

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The much-anticipated Hold Still digital exhibition has been launched this week by the Duchess of Cambridge and the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition features one hundred portraits which represent a collective snapshot of our everyday lives during these unprecedented times. 

During the six-week submission period, in May and June, the British public were invited to enter a photographic portrait, which could focus on either of the three themes: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness. The judging panel selected the final portraits from a staggering 31,598 submissions by how the images effected them emotionally. The Hold Still judging panel included: The Duchess of Cambridge; Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery; Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet; Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England and Maryam Wahid, photographer.



The exhibition aims to capture the array of emotions and experiences that the nation has felt during the pandemic. Alongside the images, we hear the moving and individual stories behind each of the portraits from the entrants themselves. From the solidarity in clapping together for the NHS, the fear of having to have a home haircut, the struggle of home-schooling and then the inevitable loneliness felt when unable to see a loved one. The portraits express our shared and personal triumphs and losses during this extraordinary period of time. 

You can find the digital exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery website here.

 

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