NEWS: The Duchess of Cambridge and National Portrait Gallery launch Hold Still Digital Exhibition

The Duchess of Cambridge and the National Portrait Gallery have unveiled the Hold Still digital exhibition, featuring one hundred portraits selected from 31,598 submissions during the project’s six-week entry period. 

Sami by Grey Hutton

The selected works in the digital exhibition concentrate on three core themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness – to present a unique record of shared and individual experiences during this extraordinary period of history, conveying humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope.

This project was launched in May by the Duchess of Cambridge who has been a patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012. It invited people of all ages, from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they had taken during lockdown. The project aims 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.

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.

Those images selected for the exhibition were done so by the panel who assessed the photographs based on the emotions and experiences they convey rather than on their photographic quality or technical expertise. 

A selection of the images that feature in the digital exhibition will also be shown in towns and cities across the UK later in the year.

To see the images selected visit:

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