(NPG), London, UK
The lockdown has changed the shape of the way in which we live around the world. The National Portrait Gallery captures a small glimpse into the lives and experiences of people in Britain as a result of the lockdown, with its online exhibition Hold Still.
Small glimpse it may be, but this presentation of 100 photographs is worth seeing online, as it takes us into a memorable journey displaying the emotions, the challenges, the affections and the severities of the lockdown.
Some photographs portray a devastating outcome. Illness, loss and loneliness is depicted, demonstrating the cruel effects and unfair consequences of a global pandemic, hurting people indiscriminately.
Some photographs pay a tribute to everyday people with their heroic actions from street cleaners, soup kitchen volunteers to nurses and medical staff.
Touching our hearts, we see children connecting with their grandparents through a shielded plastic covering or glass windows, showing us that love reaches all, across the generations, despite the barriers.
Although the pictures convey tragedy and fragility as we are vulnerable to disease and outbreaks, the pictures also give us a glimmer of hope. A light at the end of the tunnel is possible when fragility turns into strength and creativity, making the best out of our situation.
These pictures tell us a story and teach us some valuable truths about who we are. In a testing time, we needed to “hold still”, “come together’ and “hang in there”. These snaps have shown our resilience and patience in the face of turmoil and sometimes, stark hysteria.
The 100 pictures were selected by a panel of people with different backgrounds and interests in photography.
But the pictures themselves were handed in by the people, giving us a brief insight into their world.
In the three links below, I will include some points about the panel, followed by the selection that resonated with me especially. I will give a summary on how a few of the pictures convey the experiences and challenges of the lockdown.
Although the subject of some of these snapshots can be distressing, I felt it was important to see and acknowledge. However, not all photos were upsetting – some portraits happily conveyed joy and a good sense of humour!
Needless to say, these selection of poignant and celebratory images shouldn’t be missed.
Hold Still presents a dynamic collection of a number of scenes where people respond, interact and engage with the pandemic in different ways.
The portaits are from the people as their narrative and a testament to the challenges we faced in 2020.
Which photo speaks to you?
Be sure to go online here to see for yourself these amazing people making history.
Thank you to the NHS for saving lives!🙏❤️
Rest In peace to those who’ve passed away. 🌷🤲