Amanda Holden, Joe Wicks and Kylie Minogue led a host of celebrities in taking a moment of self-reflection and closing their eyes for mental health as part of an art exhibition.
Black and white photographs of celebrities posing with their eyes closed to raise awareness for mental health will be featured on the Piccadilly Lights in a final screening on Wednesday.
The celebrity snaps will be shown alongside thousands of portraits of members of the public as part of the finale of the public art exhibition ‘Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022’ with Ray Burmiston.
Poignant: Amanda Holden, Joe Wicks and Kylie Minogue led a host of celebrities in taking a moment of self-reflection and closing their eyes for mental health as part of an art exhibition
Stunning: Kylie Minogue flashed a grin as she posed for her poignant portrait as part of the exhibition
Speaking of the project, radio presenter Amanda, 51, said on Instagram: ‘It’s important we all have those little moments to ourselves, to clear our minds.’
While Katie Piper, who also stars in the exhibition, added: ‘I’m so happy to be included in this campaign that promotes taking time for ourselves in order to improve our mental health!’
Actress Michelle Collins also has a portrait in the exhibition and said of the project: ‘We all rush around far too much and don’t take the time for ourselves and for others too.’
Over two hundred A-list stars – including Helena Bonham Carter, Ant and Dec, the Spice Girls’ Mel B, Tom Jones and Ricky Gervais – have closed their eyes in poignant photographs for mental health.
The project was launched by NHS doctor Ranj Singh and has seen the likes of David Walliams, Stephen Fry, Alesha Dixon, James Corden, Graham Norton, Idris Elba and Tom Jones come together to create the collage.
Dr Ranj said: ‘Our mental health is so important, you must look after it, and I’m touched to see the thousands of people across the world who took a photograph of themselves to feature in this powerful photography exhibition with me. I’d recommend everyone to keep taking a moment every day!’
Also taking part in the photograph exhibition are swimmer Adam Peaty, singer Ronan Keating, Made In Chelsea’s Ollie Locke, presenter Ade Adepitan, Grayson Perry, Kate Moss and drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash.
Mental health: The celebrity snaps – including Ant and Dec and Mel B – will be shown alongside thousands of portraits of members of the public as part of the public art exhibition ‘Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022’ with Ray Burmiston
Message: Over two hundred A-list stars – including Helena Bonham Carter, Ant and Dec, the Spice Girls’ Mel B, Tom Jones and Ricky Gervais – have closed their eyes in poignant photographs for mental health
Peaceful: Gary Barlow clasped his hands together and held them by his head while Russell Brand appeared to be staring upwards for the powerful shots
The exhibition is in collaboration with photographer and artist Ray Burmiston, with thousands of portraits submitted by celebrities and members of the public being used to raise awareness for mental health.
Moving: Idris Elba posed with his hand grabbing the top of his head in a powerful black-and-white photograph
Touching: Sporting stars also got involved in the project, with pundit Alex Scott and swimmer Adam Peaty sharing their portraits
The photographs, which include submissions from people all over the world – including those from Germany, Lebanon, The Seychelles, Mozambique, Singapore, and China – will be accompanied by a ten-minute video featuring all the shots.
Underneath the iconic screens of Piccadilly Circus, Art of London installed a temporary gallery and studio space to showcase the poignant project.
As well as A-listers, Ray also photographed theatre stars Thomas Aldridge (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; Palace Theatre), Aisha Jawando (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical; Aldwych Theatre), Karl Queensborough (Hamilton; Victoria Palace Theatre), Jon Robyns (Les Misérables: Sondheim Theatre), Mazz Murray (Mamma Mia!; Novello Theatre), Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins; Prince Edward Theatre), and the cast of Magic Mike Live (Jake Brewer, Charlie Knight, Mark Lace, Brian Siregar; The Hippodrome).
Awareness: Over two hundred A-list stars – including Graham Norton, Ant and Dec, and Tom Jones – have closed their eyes in poignant photographs for mental health
All smiles: Comedian Alan Carr and Spice Girl Emma Bunton opted for playful poses as they grinned in their portraits
Medal: Anthony Joshua posed with his Olympic medal in one hand as he raised awareness for mental health
People have been flocking to the Take A Moment Gallery to look at the powerful portraits and take a moment of self-reflection and think about mental health.
Stephen Fry, Dame Kelly Hoppen, presenters Ben Shepherd and Andrea McLean and Ben Shepherd also arrived at the Take a Moment project to take in the project in person.
Christine Flack, mother of the late Caroline Flack, also took the time to visit the gallery to see her late daughter’s portrait up on the Piccadilly Lights.
She said: ‘Carrie would have loved this exhibition.’
Speaking about her portrait in the exhibition, A&E nurse Emily Moorhouse: ‘I’d been working long shifts in A&E and was just having my break and taking a moment. It’s beyond important to take a moment for your mind. I have always believed this, but now more than ever.’
Project: The photographs, which include submissions from people all over the world – will be accompanied by a ten-minute video featuring all the shots. Pictured: Ronan Keating
Iconic: Underneath the iconic screens of Piccadilly Circus, which will feature Stephen Fry and Tom Jones’s portraits, Art of London installed a temporary gallery and studio space to showcase the poignant project
Eyes shut: James Cordon looked smart in a suit as he posed with his eyes shut, joining a host of other A-listers, for the project
Also heartbreakingly featured alongside the celebrity faces is Sherrie Avigliano, a brave woman who tragically lost her battle with ovarian cancer six days after her portrait was taken.
The celebrity collection of photographs marks the finale of Art of London’s world-class arts exhibition, which ran from March on the Piccadilly Lights, and in the gallery space underneath the famous boards, supported by Westminster City Council.
Landsec, which owns the Piccadilly Lights, donated the screen time for free in support of the campaign, which aims to drive mental health awareness.
Taking part: David Walliams raised his eyebrows and stood with his arms folded in his interpretation on the self-reflection project
Comedians: Ricky Gervais opted to embody his popular character David Brent as he posed with a guitar while Michael McIntyre’s portrait saw him with ‘TBC’ Post-It Notes on his face
The finale also coincides with the latest instalment of the West End Gallery Hop, a collaboration between West End art galleries.
Ray Burmiston, Take A Moment artist and photographer, said: ‘Seeing people from all over the globe interact with Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022 has been incredible.
‘I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved in making it happen and, of course, to everyone who’s sent in a picture, tagged us on social media or even popped in to see us – we couldn’t have done it without you.’
While Mark Williams, Director of Art of London, said: ‘We’re touched to see thousands of people take a selfie as part of this mental health project and appear on the West End’s famous Piccadilly Lights.
Smart: Wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan cut a smart figure in a suit as he posed with his arms crossed for the exhibition
Reality stars: Made In Chelsea’s Ollie Locke and Jamie Laing were also keen to get involved in the mental health project
‘As well as raising mental health awareness, Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022 has made art more accessible to the public with a photography exhibition running for free in one of the world’s busiest locations.
‘There’s world-class art to discover in every corner of the West End and I’m delighted to see some of the area’s most iconic, local businesses exhibit Ray’s artwork and create an environment for people to take a moment.’
And Lara Journo-Leggatt, Director of Take a Moment, added: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the public response and the love that this project has received from all those involved.
‘We are so grateful to our incredible team who gave their time to make it a reality in 2020 and to Art of London and Piccadilly Lights who have given us agency to sustain and amplify the movement, holding hands across social platforms, so that we can continue to collect moments for decades to come whilst offering a space where people can share stories and support each other.’
Advocate: Dr Alex George, who has been vocal about his support for mental health awareness, also took part in the project
Derek Manns, Commercial Media Director at Landsec, said: ‘Piccadilly Lights overlooks one of the West End’s most bustling meeting points, and we’ve loved being able to facilitate such a powerful campaign that has created a moment of calm for the many people passing through.’
‘Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022’ is part of a surge of activations and outdoor exhibitions transforming the iconic West End area. The photography exhibition follows other phenomenal arts attractions that took place in 2021, including the Augmented Gallery, several Pop-Up Art Exhibitions and the Piccadilly Art Takeover, with plenty more to come later in 2022.
‘West End businesses the Burlington Arcade and Waterstones, featured photography from the exhibition to create a peaceful oasis for members of the public to stop and ‘Take A Moment’.’
Creator: The incredibly powerful project was launched by NHS doctor Ranj Singh and he said of mental health: ‘Our mental health is so important, you must look after it’
Stunning: Drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash looked incredible in a glittering ensemble as they posed with their eyes closed