London fine art gallery Maddox has teamed up with photographer Rankin and celebrity hairdresser Adee Phelan to host a special public exhibition to honour NHS frontline workers. Running from 20 March to 5 April, the exhibition will see portraits of NHS staff hung in the windows of Maddox’s Westbourne Grove gallery in tribute to the work of the NHS and to support Phelan’s NHS Gift for Heroes initiative.
The exhibition will feature portraits shot by Rankin of seven NHS staff, all taken the same day the first vaccine was administered. The photographs include staff from Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospital in London and Aintree University Hospital and the Walton Centre in Liverpool, with the doctors and nurses coming from a range of departments, representing the wide span of care offered by the NHS. Phelan also features in one of the images, wearing scrubs bearing the legend ‘650’: the number of NHS staff who, up to the date of the photo shoot, had died from Covid-19.
Phelan founded NHS Gift for Heroes in 2020 as a way of thanking NHS staff for their work by gifting them boxes of hair and beauty products. Since launching, the charity has received more than £1.7 million in product donations and raised enough funding to gift more than 23,500 boxes to NHS staff.
“Every time people get these boxes, these frontline warriors, the smiles on their faces are just unbelievable,” says Phelan. “We’ve hand-delivered thousands of boxes to hospitals over the country and I want to keep it going. Things are still desperate, and they still need our help.”
The Maddox Gallery has also added an interactive element to the exhibition allowing visitors to learn more about the experiences of the NHS staff who appear in the photographs. Each window will feature QR codes which, when scanned, lead to a website featuring testimonials from the seven NHS workers on their experiences at the frontline of healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a rainbow-themed floral installation created by Wild About Flowers, echoing the rainbow symbol that has become representative of the hard work and bravery of the NHS during the pandemic.
“We are incredibly proud to be a part of this initiative and to support NHS Gift for Heroes,” added Jay Rutland, creative director of Maddox Gallery. “Adee’s commitment and dedication to his fundraising efforts have been phenomenal, and we’re delighted to be able to play a part in helping him give the NHS the recognition that they deserve.
“By hosting this special series, we hope to both amplify the message behind what is already a nationally revered initiative and encourage everyone to donate to this incredible cause. Whether big or small, all donations have made such a huge difference and for that, we can only thank you.”
The Maddox Gallery NHS Gift for Heroes exhibition will run from 20 March – 5 April at 112 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RU. Donations to support the work of NHS Gift for Heroes can be made here.