Brace yourself. Grab some tissues. Because today the National Portrait Gallery launches Hold Still, an online exhibition featuring 100 photographs taken by ordinary people during lockdown. And, while some are predictable, many are not: they pierce straight through.
The idea came from the gallery’s patron, the Duchess of Cambridge, who knows a thing or two about photography. Back in May, she invited the public to contribute to an open-call “community project”, recording everyday life amid the pandemic: hold still, Britain, while we take a photographic portrait of the nation. Of course, this came at a time when all of us, at the government’s behest, were “holding still”.
Though Kate did offer some guidance, suggesting a few themes, the ambition was to be inclusive, not prescriptive – and, over six weeks, more than 31,000 photographs were