Art Of London unveils celebrity photography by Ray Burmiston in jaw-dropping Piccadilly Lights exhibition to raise mental health awareness


Exhibition featuring celebrity portraits from among the hundreds captured by Ray Burmiston over the past decade to take over the Piccadilly Lights for a month

Featured celebrities in the exhibit 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

The public are 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 favorite stars and West End ‘famous faces’

The Art of London presents Take A Moment_STEPHEN FRY

[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 at Piccadilly Circus in March. The spectacular exhibit will feature a slew of famous faces photographed with their eyes closed, to remind people to take a moment to take care of their mental health.

With portraits of top 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 more Others from the worlds of entertainment and sport, the Art of London exhibition will appear on Europe’s largest advertising screen, the Piccadilly Lights. Landsec, owner of the Piccadilly Lights, is donating screen time to support the campaign.

London Art Presents Take A Moment_JAMES CORDEN
London Art Presents Take A Moment_JAMES CORDEN

The digital exhibition is also paired with a physical event space directly below the Piccadilly Lights, supported by Westminster City Council, and is one of several planned 2022 activations of the Art of London cultural initiative, which aims to celebrating art in all its forms and transforming on the streets of London’s creative West End district.

Over the past 10 years, Ray Burmiston has captured hundreds of photographs of stars with their eyes closed to highlight the importance of taking a moment for yourself to focus on your 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 A-lister photos, communicating the positive benefits for our mental well-being from stopping for a moment.

The full list of stars featured 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 art exhibition on one of London’s most iconic landmarks for an entire month. As well as photographing the world’s most recognizable celebrities, Ray Burmiston has captured local legends and familiar faces working at iconic West End institutions and shows including The Wolseley, Burlington Arcade, Magic Mike Live at The Hippodrome and The Odeon Luxe in Leicester Square, all of which will feature in the new exhibition. Other West End stars appearing in the exhibit include Thomas Aldridge (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Aisha Jawando (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Karl Queensborough (Hamilton) and Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins).

Away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, throughout March visitors to the West End will also be able to experience unique photography within an intimate physical exhibition. Ray Burmiston’s photographs, which encourage everyone to look after their mental health, will be on display for a full month under one of London’s most popular landmarks with free admission to the public. Businesses in the West End, including Burlington Arcade and Waterstones, also plan to display photographs from the exhibit 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 take a selfie and share their own reflective moment on Instagram in March. The exhibit will culminate in early April with a ten-minute video featuring hundreds of portraits of celebrities and audiences, curated by Ray Burmiston, who worked on the mental health awareness campaign.

“Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022” is part of an explosion of outdoor activations and exhibitions transforming the iconic West End. The photography exhibition follows other phenomenal art attractions that took place in 2021, including the Augmented Gallery, several pop-up art exhibitions, the Piccadilly Art Takeover, Tusk Trust Lion Trail and many more to come more late in the year. Culture vultures can discover a wealth of spectacular art destinations to visit using Art of London’s handy online guides, packed with art galleries, theatres, museums, institutions and pop-ups world class to explore in the West End.

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Enrico David, "Racket II", 2017. Jesmonite, patinated steel, from an edition of 5 + 2 EA.  60 1/2 x 28 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches (154 x 73 x 45 cm)
Art of London presents Take A Moment_RUSSEL BRAND
Art of London presents Take A Moment_RUSSEL BRAND

Television personality Dr Alex George, who features in the exhibition, said: “I am delighted to be featured in the stunning exhibition of photography by Art of London and Ray Burmiston, which bravely addresses the importance of take care of 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 photograph will encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on their mental health. I can’t wait to see all the selfies on Instagram and who Ray selects to be on the Piccadilly Lights with me!

Take A Moment artist and photographer Ray Burmiston said: “The exhibit was created from a decade of studio shots 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, ranging 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 was overwhelmed by the public response and hope the new exhibit continues to highlight the importance of mental health awareness.

Mark Williams, Director of Art of London, said: “We are delighted to launch Art of London Presents Take A Moment 2022 – it’s not just about boosting the amount of free public art in the West End, but it primarily addresses mental health issues. in one of the busiest places in the world. I hope this powerful new exhibit inspires people throughout March to close their eyes to themselves and take a quiet moment to acknowledge their feelings. Many people find that art inspires inner reflection, it can be incredibly therapeutic and is used as a form of escape, and in addition to Ray’s new exhibition, visitors to the West End can discover a wealth of experiences world-class culture 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 space each year. One in five say they visit Piccadilly Circus just to take a photo of the unique advertising display and we hope this will encourage people to visit Piccadilly, take part in the campaign and learn more about how to care of their own mental health.

Councilor 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 landmarks and an ideal place for this important campaign. “Take a Moment” couldn’t be more timely. Since the summer we have been carrying out various initiatives to bring people back to our incredible city and so I encourage everyone to come and participate in this unique and stimulating exhibition.

London Art Presents Take A Moment_AMANDA HOLDEN
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