Hold Still: A Portrait of our Nation in 2020

ISBN: 9781855147386
Artist(s): Various
Author(s): Lemn Sissay and the Duchess of Cambridge
Format: hardback
Year published: 7 May 2021
Publisher: National Portrait Gallery Publications
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 168
Illustrations: 120 illustrations


2 available

A unique collective portrait of the United Kingdom during the national lockdown of 2020. Introduction by The Duchess of Cambridge. Text by Lemn Sissay MBE.

Sunday Times Bestseller. ‘Every bookcase should have this book’ ‘Beautifully heart-warming’ and ‘a keepsake for years to come’. Focused on three key themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness, this book presents a unique portrait of the UK during the 2020 lockdown, through 100 community photographs.

The net proceeds from the sale of the book will be equally split to support the work of the National Portrait Gallery and Mind, the mental health charity (registered 219830) Spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still was an ambitious community project to create a unique collective portrait of the UK during lockdown. People of all ages were invited to submit a photographic portrait, taken in a six-week period during May and June 2020, focussed on three core themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness. From these, a panel of judges selected 100 portraits, assessing the images on the emotions and experiences they conveyed.

Featured here in this publication, the final 100 images present a unique and highly personal record of this extraordinary period in our history of people of all ages from across the nation. 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.

Presenting a true portrait of our nation in 2020, this publication includes a foreword by The Duchess of Cambridge, each image is accompanied by the story behind the picture told through the words of the entrants, and further works show the nationwide outdoor exhibition of Hold Still.


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