2020 Vision Project – Behind the Mask

The 2020 Vision Project highlights the stories of NHS workers during the pandemic and gives them a chance to be seen away from a work setting, without their masks, hence the name of the project. Photographers across the UK were invited to submit images of their local heroes and just 100 images were selected for an exhibition in London.

One of the photographers whose images were chosen was Tara Gillen. She had captured images of a care worker, Bethany Bean and midwife, Caitlin Evans. Once I’d heard Tara mention it, I was keen to find out more as such a project poignantly captures the zeitgeist of 2020, not just the devestation and horror caused by the disease, but crucially the resilience and the determination of the teams in hospitals and care homes.

The founder the project is Sophie Sheinwald, an acclaimed photographer from Brighton, whose book, Generation Share was recommended in the top 5 isolation reads for 2020. After clapping one evening, she couldn’t sleep, wanting to do something practical to make a difference. At 2am the idea came to her and in the morning she contacted Annie Murray, a film-maker and together they set the project in motion.

From there, it gained huge momentum, generating 600 images from within the UK and culminated in an exhibition in London where the images of the healthcare workers were displayed along with their stories, some of which are particularly harrowing. The story generated local media interest online and was even covered by BBC Look East.

Since the exhibition, Annie’s moved on to other projects and David Archer, acclaimed photographer and Nikon partner now runs the project with Sophie.

An image each day is shared on the 2020 Vision Facebook group and there are plans for display of the images in March 2021 where they will be projected onto healthcare buildings. Another, larger exhibition will follow, featuring more submissions from photographers. So watch this space!

Find out more at: www.2020visionproject.co.uk

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