Exhibition featuring celebrity portraits from the hundreds captured by Ray Burmiston over the last decade to take over the Piccadilly Lights for one month
Celebrities starring in the exhibition include Kate Moss, Helena Bonham Carter, David Walliams, Grayson Perry, Alesha Dixon, Holly Willoughby, James Corden, Richard Ayoade, Laura Whitmore, Joe Wicks and many more
Public encouraged to post a selfie on Instagram with their eyes closed in a moment of reflection and for the chance to appear on the Piccadilly Lights alongside their favourite stars and ‘famous faces’ of the West End
[25 February 2022, London, UK] ‘Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022’, a new exhibition and collaboration with photographer and artist Ray Burmiston, is set to launch in Piccadilly Circus this March. The spectacular exhibition will feature a huge number of famous faces photographed with their eyes closed, to remind people to take a moment to look after their mental health.
Featuring portraits of A-list stars including David Walliams, Stephen Fry, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden, Kate Moss, Richard Ayoade, Helena Bonham Carter, Ricky Gervais, Grayson Perry, Mel B, James Corden, Nish Kumar, and many others from the worlds of entertainment and sport, Art of London’s exhibition will appear on Europe’s largest advertising display, the Piccadilly Lights. Landsec, which owns the Piccadilly Lights, is donating the screen time in support of the campaign.
The digital exhibition is also paired with a physical event space directly underneath the Piccadilly Lights, supported by Westminster City Council, and is one of several planned activations for 2022 from cultural initiative Art of London, which aims to celebrate art in all its forms and transform the streets of London’s creative West End district.
Over the last 10 years Ray Burmiston has captured hundreds of photographs of stars with their eyes closed to highlight the importance of taking a moment for themselves to focus on their mental health. With ‘Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022’, Art of London and Ray Burmiston present people with a moment of reflection and intimacy rarely, if ever, seen in pictures of the A-lister, communicating the positive benefits for our mental wellbeing of pausing for a moment.
The full list of stars featuring in the exhibition will be announced in the coming weeks and members of the public will be able to experience the thought-provoking and powerful arts display on one of London’s most iconic landmarks for an entire month. In addition to photographing the world’s most recognisable celebrities, Ray Burmiston captured local legends and familiar faces working at iconic institutions and shows in the West End, including The Wolseley, Burlington Arcade, Magic Mike Live at The Hippodrome and The Odeon Luxe in Leicester Square, who will all feature in the new exhibition. Additional West End stars appearing in the exhibition include Thomas Aldridge (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Aisha Jawando (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Karl Queensborough (Hamilton), and Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins).
Tucked away from the bustle of the Piccadilly Circus, throughout March, West End visitors will also be able to experience the unique photography within an intimate, physical exhibition. Ray Burmiston’s photographs, which encourage everyone to address their mental health, will be showcased for a full month underneath one of London’s most popular landmarks with free entry for the public. Businesses in the West End district, including the Burlington Arcade and Waterstones, also plan to feature photography from the exhibition and encourage members of the public to stop and ‘Take A Moment’.
With experts1 citing an alarming rise in the use of mental health services, ‘Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022’ encourages the public to snap a selfie and share their own moment of reflection on Instagram in March. The exhibition will culminate in early April with a ten-minute video featuring hundreds of celebrity and public portraits, curated by Ray Burmiston, who participated in the campaign to raise awareness of mental health.
‘Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022’ is part of an explosion 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, the Piccadilly Art Takeover, Tusk Trust Lion Trail and plenty more to come later in the year. Culture seekers can discover a raft of spectacular arts destinations to visit using Art of London’s handy online guides, filled with world-class art galleries, theatres, museums, institutions and pop-ups to explore in the West End.
Dr Alex George, television personality, who features in the exhibition, said: “I’m thrilled to feature in Art of London and Ray Burmiston’s stunning photography exhibition, which bravely addresses the importance of looking after our mental health. I’m proud to be one of hundreds of celebrities captured by Ray, who closed their eyes on camera in a moment of personal reflection. This is such an important initiative and I hope Ray’s photography encourages everyone to take a moment to think about their mental health. I can’t wait to see all the selfies on Instagram and who Ray selects to be up on the Piccadilly Lights with me!”
Ray Burmiston, Take A Moment artist and photographer, said “The exhibition has been created from a decade of outtakes from the studio where I asked my subjects to close their eyes for a few seconds, to refresh their connection with the camera. The portraits capture a variety of different responses from powerful moments of self-reflection to something more whimsical and playful, allowing us to see these well-known faces in a different light. I have been overwhelmed by the public response and I hope the new exhibition will continue to highlight the importance of mental health awareness.”
Mark Williams, Director of Art of London, said: “We’re delighted to launch Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022 – it’s not only strengthening the sheer amount of free public art in the West End but it is importantly addressing mental health issues in one of the world’s busiest locations. I hope this powerful, new exhibition inspires people throughout March to close their eyes themselves and take a moment of calm to acknowledge their feelings. Many people find that art inspires inner reflection, it can be incredibly therapeutic and is used as a form of escapism, and as well as Ray’s new exhibition, West End visitors can discover a raft of world class cultural experiences across the West End.”
Derek Manns, Commercial Media Director at Landsec, said: “Piccadilly Lights is a world famous and iconic destination with over 100 million people visiting the space every year. One in five people say they visit Piccadilly Circus just to take a picture of the unique advertising display and we hope this encourages people to visit Piccadilly, participate in the campaign and learn more about looking after their own mental health.”
Councillor Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning at Westminster City Council, said: “Piccadilly Circus and its Lights have become one of London’s most iconic sights and are a fitting location for this important campaign. ‘Take a Moment’ couldn’t be more timely. Since the summer, we have been running various initiatives to bring people back to our incredible city and so I encourage everyone to come and participate in this unique and thought-provoking exhibition.”.