Hold Still Community Exhibition

Hold Still Community Exhibition


Melanie, March 2020 by Johannah Churchill was recreated as a hand-painted mural in Manchester’s Northern Quarter as part of the community exhibition (20 October – 8 November 2020).

We were overwhelmed by the public’s response to the project and the number and range of extraordinary images we received. The 31,598 entries came from all corners of the UK with the geographic spread stretching from Oban in Argyll, Scotland to Delabole in Cornwall. This UK-wide exhibition, supported by the Co-op, was created to share the images with as many people as possible across the UK and saw the final 100 portraits go on display in local communities for four weeks from 20 October 2020.

Community Exhibition

The photographs featured on 400 outdoor posters in over 80 towns, cities and communities. The images could be seen in high streets, bus stops, on a special mural in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and a takeover of billboards outside Waterloo station in South London.

Curated groups of portraits were displayed in cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Many of the portraits were on display in the local communities where entrants are from ranging from Belfast, Liverpool and Southampton to Somersham in Cambridgeshire and Auchinleck in East Ayrshire. A selection of works were also shown on community screens in 1,600 Co-op food stores across the UK.

National Memorial Arboretum

All 100 photographs were displayed on digital screens in the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire from 24 October to 6 December 2020. The exhibition explored the nation’s experience of lockdown and the Arboretum provided a space for people to reflect on their experience of the pandemic.

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Take A Poster Home

We have had many requests for a memento of the project and a selection of ten of the community exhibition posters are now available to buy from our online shop. You can also discover a range of photography resources and books related to the Gallery’s Collection.

Online shop

The community exhibition was made possible by support from the Co-op.

The community exhibition was made possible by support from the Co-op.