Hold Still

The Judges chaired by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

Here is everything you need  know about the most moving project I have been a part of throughout lockdown.  I’d say it’s the most inspirational and moving project of this century. I know. Superlatives. But hear me out.    Spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still, a portrait of our nation in 2020, is an ambitious community project to create a unique photographic portrait which captures the spirit, mood, hopes, fears and feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.

I have  been unable to say anything about it until now.   “The Duchess of Cambridge was joined on the judging panel for Hold Still by Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery; Lemn Sissay, writer and poet; Ruth May, the chief nursing officer for England; and the photographer Maryam Wahid. The 100 images we’ve selected will feature in a digital exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery website from September 14”. .It has been a privilege to experience the intimate moments of a nation. Viewing the photographs made me proud but WOW it was emotional. See for yourself.  A selection of the winners are in the Times Sunday Magazine this morning.    But here is just one photograph.  Read the description below it.  It’s from the mother.  This is just one photo. I defy you not to be moved in two weeks time when we all can  experience the full exhibition.   Have a wonderful Sunday.

Click on the photo to read The Sunday Times article on Hold Still.

The first kiss — Ali Harris and Leigh Harris. “This is the moment that our third baby boy came into the world, in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by medical staff in full PPE, and the first thing he did was try to give his mummy a kiss through the protective screening and Mummy’s mask. This beautiful moment was captured by Daddy, Leigh, and it was love at first sight for all of us and we have been besotted ever since. Despite everything going on in the world, children and babies in particular have a way of keeping us grounded and focused (most of the time!), and we are so proud to have brought a new life into the world during the height of this pandemic.”

I hope the digital exhibition comes with a playlist.   Amazing Grace by Scotts Guards   Sibelious “swan of lake tuonela”.  Listen by Beyonce.  What about  viewing the  exhibition with Gorecki in my headphones.  Someone should just upload a. “hold still” playlist to accompany the exhibition.  Uplaod to Spotify for September 14th! Remember, make it representative. Northern Ireland, Scotland, England,  Wales.  –  I design for Life by Manic Street Preachers, We Can BeHeroes by David Bowie,  etc – 

13 thoughts on “Hold Still

  1. Wow. Just wow! Can’t wait for full final results. What an amazing privileged look into the nation’s past half-year. Lucky lucky you!! No better judge of nuances, realities, difference & similarity. Thanks Lemn. As always.

  2. Oh wow Lemn, it’s going to be so moving, beautiful and telling. A true documentary of these crazy times. You must be so thrilled to be part of this. Well done you!

  3. I love the myriad of projects and initiatives you are involved in – from Booker to this – it must be incredibly enriching. Can’t wait to see the photos

  4. Looking forward to seeing this amazing project. We need all the beauty and hope we can get here in the U.S. and everywhere! Thank you Lemn Sissay!

  5. Lemon it is September 7, 2020 and I am watching Ammanpour from June 26th. Can’t wait to get “I am Why”. I upset the U.S. Navy in 1973 as every form I was asked to fill out that had a check box for race, I would add a new box check it, and write human next to it. Almost 50 years later I continue to profess that we are all human. Most people are unfamiliar with this concept. There must be a color attached. The discussion goes on.

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