Hold Still

21 October 2020

We were delighted to have been able to support the launch of the Hold Still Community Exhibition and to help bring the portraits to towns and cities across the UK.

Spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still is an ambitious community project to create a unique collective portrait of the UK during lockdown. We invited people of all ages to submit a photographic portrait, taken in a six-week period during May and June, focussed on three core themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness.  Over 31,000 submissions were received from across the country, with entrants ranging from 4 to 75 years-old. From these, a panel of judges selected 100 portraits, assessing the images on the emotions and experiences they conveyed.

Featured here in this special digital exhibition, supported by Taylor Wessing, 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.

Watch the video here

Enter the exhibition and see the photographs collectively (in no particular order) and then discover the fascinating stories behind the pictures through the words of the entrants themselves. The photographs are now also on display in communities across the UK as part of a special community exhibition supported by the Co-op.


The final 100 portraits are now on display in towns and cities across the UK. The photographs feature on hundreds of posters and billboards up and down the country, including in the hometowns of many of the entrants. The community exhibition has been supported by the Co-op and a selection of the photographs can be seen on community screens in Co-op food stores across the UK. All 100 works are also on show in a digital exhibition in the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire from 24 October to 6 December.