Hold Still folks, BIG news incoming.
OK this is BIG. So big I’m almost disbelieving it’s even happening.
One of my images will feature in an exhibition celebrating the reopening of The National Portrait Gallery!
Hold Still will be part of the opening programme this summer following major redevelopment for the last three years and I am just blown away when I think about this.
And to celebrate, for the first time, the image is available to buy prints of in my Print Shop here: https://printshop.rebeccadouglas.co.uk/art/holdstillnationalportraitgallery
Seeking to capture an intimate record of this exceptional period of history through a broad range of images, an open call by the Hold Still Project invited people from across the UK to submit photographs to create a collective portrait of Britain during the coronavirus pandemic.
The project received over 30,000 photograph submissions, mine included.
And guess what? My image, Lockdown Life - Paul & Simon, was shortlisted in the final 100.
This photo forms part of a series I captured entitled 'Lockdown Life', honestly documenting life in lockdown in 2020. A moment in time, which saw everyone united in staying at home, holding still. So many moments in life are still happening in these places we call home and this project looked to explore and capture this.
Shoots were no more than 5 minutes and captured at a social distance. This image in particular has always felt iconic to me. I adore the architecture of Arlington House in Margate, and for me it really symbolised the solitude and stillness of lockdown in Thanet, East Kent.
This image was a logistically interesting one to create, taken from over 200m away, texting Paul and Simon to come to the window of their fifteenth floor home. I often think about how we gaze upon a photo and the narrative it sparks in our minds. Most of all here, I think about what the perspective must have been like for Paul and Simon, looking out across an empty beach and quiet roads in Margate.’
I then read further and my image had been shortlisted in the Gallery Director’s Choice. Nicholas Cullinan said 'Such a striking and singular image from lockdown which evocatively captures the sense of isolation we have all experienced in one way or another.'
My image was no only shortlisted, it then went on to grace billboards across the country as part of the national outdoor exhibition and in 2021, the images and their stories were published in hardback book, becoming a Sunday Times Best Seller.
The National Portrait Gallery asked for permission to acquire image to form part of the national archives, which I was humbled to agree to. It gives me goosebumps that one of my photos will have a legacy like this, telling part of the story of our time.
This is an absolute career high! I am so honoured to be one of the 100 chosen photographs to be part of this exhibition and have experienced the journey as it has unfolded.
Entitled, Hold Still: Capturing the spirit of a nation under lockdown, the exhibition will open on 22 June. You can also visit the ’Hold Still’ digital exhibition online at npg.org.uk
In celebration of my work being exhibited, I’ve decided to offer a limited number of this print for sale, via my online Print Shop.
Many people have requested a print of the image and it feels like the right time, now there is distance between us and these surreal times.
So if you want to capture a piece of history, then head on over to my Print Shop here.
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