An exhibition of images capturing life during the coronavirus lockdown has gone on display at the National Memorial Arboretum.

One of the images in the Hold Still exhibition at the National Memorial Arboretum. Picture: National Memorial Arboretum

Hold Still will be at the Alrewas venue until 6th December on a series of large outdoor screens in the amphitheatre.

Created by the National Portrait Gallery, the community project was launched by the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year.

A final selection of 100 images was made from more than 31,500 submitted from across the country.

Each of the pictures is based around three themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness.

Chris Ansell, head of learning and participation at the National Memorial Arboretum, said:

One of the images in the Hold Still exhibition. Picture: National Memorial Arboretum

“This unique exhibition provides a fascinating overview of how different people and communities experienced lockdown.

“While everyone was subject to restrictions, no one person’s experience was the same as another’s, as we all battled with different circumstances and changes to our day to day lives. 

“We are pleased to have partnered with the National Portrait Gallery to display this inspirational collection of images.

“Visitors to the arboretum will gain a rare insight into the diverse experiences of those recorded in the exhibition.”

Chris Ansell, National Memorial Arboretum

Hold Still includes photographs of virtual birthday parties, handmade rainbows and community clapping to brave NHS staff, resilient keyworkers and people dealing with illness, isolation and loss.

The display at the National Memorial Arboretum forms part of the UK-wide community exhibition, which sees the portraits exhibited on hundreds of billboard and poster sites across the country for a four-week period.  

The exhibition is free to enter, but visitors to the National Memorial Arboretum must pre-book online due to COVID-19 restrictions.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *