The two shop assistants – both called Tom – painted by Lydia Blakeley for Everyday Heroes work in the shop next door to her studio. ‘I am someone who was in the fortunate position to be able to stay at home for the whole of lockdown’, says the artist. ‘I am so extremely grateful for the people who kept this country running’.
Mahtab Hussain has made two portraits for the exhibition. This one, printed at over five metres high and displayed on the side of Royal Festival Hall, features Dr A Shahid, a dermatologist who continued to work throughout the crisis, while heavily pregnant. Dr Shahid’s infant son Ember also features in the photograph.
Painter Benjamin Senior based this scene on his local market in Croydon, south London. Senior has said ‘Grocery shopping took on a particular urgency early in the lockdown, when supplies were scarce, and the marketplace has been a focal point of our lives since.’
The group of portraits that Matthew Krishanu has produced for Everyday Heroes focuses on four female religious workers who, along with other religious workers across the country, continued to find ways to serve their community throughout the crisis. In this image Rehanah Sadiq, a Muslim chaplain for two Birmingham NHS hospital trusts, can be seen in full PPE, looking out over Southbank Centre’s Market Square.
Everyday Heroes is open September – November.
Visit the Southbank Centre site to see these artworks, alongside other artworks and poems by 21 leading artists and poets.
As a charity, we rely on ticket sales for a huge chunk of our income. Though Hayward Gallery may now be reopening, our auditoriums remain closed. We all need the escape of art and culture; it can inspire and unite us. So please – if you can afford to – consider a donation to the Southbank Centre today, to help us be there for you in the future.