Portraits of the nation during COVID | Education Support

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Portraits of the nation during COVID

The Duchess of Cambridge launched Hold Still, an ambitious community photography project, in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, to capture the hopes, fears and feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The Duchess and the National Portrait Gallery are inviting people of all ages to submit a photographic portrait which they have taken during these extraordinary times. Participants are also encouraged to provide a short written submission to outline the experiences and emotions of those depicted in their photograph. The project will focus on three core themes:

  • Helpers and Heroes
  • Your New Normal
  • Acts of Kindness

Completely free and open to all ages and abilities, Hold Still aims to capture a snapshot of the UK at this time, creating a collective portrait of lockdown which will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope.

On the launch of Hold Still, The Duchess said:

“We’ve all been struck by some of the incredible images we’ve seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country. Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable.

Hold Still aims to capture a portrait of the nation, the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time. Photographs reflecting resilience, bravery, kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.”

One hundred shortlisted portraits will be shown in a gallery without walls - a digital exhibition open to all. A selection of images will also be shown across the UK later in the year.

The images can be captured on phones or cameras and each image will be assessed on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise.

The closing date for submissions is 18 June 2020. You can submit your portrait to the National Gallery via their website https://www.npg.org.uk/hold-still/