With an extremely challenging 2020, the NHS Confederation has put together a wellbeing virtual event for NHS Employees on the 10th March 2021.
This is the NHS's fourth annual health and wellbeing conference and with unprecedented pressure on the NHS this past 12 months, Regroup, Reflect and Recharge is a very fitting theme. The event aims to look at the many lessons learned as well as celebrate the amazing work NHS employees have done to support the experience of frontline staff and their response to the pandemic. So it has been a great honour for the 2020 Vision Project to be invited to launch their online exhibition with 100 beautiful portraits of nationwide healthcare workers for this year's NHS Staff Experience Conference.
Thank you NHS from us!
As a body of UK portrait photographers, we take this opportunity to thank the NHS for the incredible work – each employee has played a very important role.
At the cusp of the first UK lockdown in March 2020, Brighton photographer Sophie Sheinwald was intensely moved by the national surge of appreciation towards NHS carers. At the time, she rediscovered portraits she had taken of hospital staff that were exhibited over 20 years ago. An idea sparked – what if she invited portrait photographers from across the UK to highlight these incredibly vital individuals and create a body of beautiful nationwide portraiture?
100 skilled photographers were selected from across the nation. Once on board, they were each asked to capture the person BEHIND THE MASK to portray human connection and use their own individual style.
This short video shows some photographers behind the scenes, plus our first live exhibition in September 2020 at London's St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.
Tribute to healthcare workers
This has been a collective tribute to honour the dedication to patient care throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Professional portrait photographers from all across the UK, from Aberdeen to Southampton have been very proud to take part in this project and we thank them for sharing their skills in visual storytelling.
Our online gallery so far has 100 selected portraits that were taken ‘Behind the Mask’. Each portrait was taken away from the healthcare workplace, out of PPE and uniforms- although when you take a look through, you'll see that we have occasional references to PPE in some of the photographs.
The online exhibition will be live from the 10th to 15th March 2021. We also plan to add more stories and have a special release later in March.
Conference exhibition stand
During the conference we will have an exhibition booth with photographer Dave Dodge, who captured a beautiful portrait of NHS employee Iain Robertson, which will be highlighted at the event. We also have photographer Kathryn Chapman, who works to uplift mental health through her photography. Both photographers have contributed to the 2020 Vision Project. We also have Debbie Bedford from Loxley Colour who'll be at our stand. She was key to our photos being printed for the September 2020 exhibition. Plus Sophie Sheinwald and Dave Archer will be there to answer any questions.
We hope this exhibition gives the opportunity for NHS employees to reflect on the many healthcare workers across the UK who faced probably the greatest challenge of their career! Many of them were thrown in with full PPE to work intensely aside workers they had never met before. With the initial tsunami of the pandemic, each had to figure out how best to cope, in a backdrop of fear for their families' and friends' safety.
During the early months of the project, we asked each healthcare worker, what had challenged them the most as well as what inspired them. What came through was determination, pride, resilience and dedication to patient care.
We are currently working on more showcases through indoor and outdoor exhibitions. Please do get in touch if you’re interested in showcasing these touching stories in your area.