You can appear in the National Portrait Gallery with stars 'taking a moment'

A mental health awareness campaign is calling for people to Take A Moment – and upload a selfie that could ultimately appear in lights at London’s Piccadilly Circus.

The photos will form part of the exhibition Take A Moment, which is currently showing at the National Portrait Gallery.

The launch of the exhibition, which features portraits taken by world famous photgrapher Ray Burmiston, includes names such as Liam Gallagher, Joanna Lumley, James Cordon, David Baddiel, Pixie Lott and Ricky Gervais, photographed in black and white, eyes closed, taking a moment.

The launch yesterday was attended by Christine Flack, mother of Caroline Flack, whose portrait taken by Ray Burmiston in 2014 during her time In Strictly Come Dancing and which now forms part of the exhibition.

Christine said: ‘Take A Moment is such a small phrase with such an enormous message. I miss Caroline so much every day. There are times when I take a moment just to remember how wonderful it was to have had her as a daughter.’

Now it’s the turn of the public to create their own selfies of themselves ‘Taking A Moment’, and upload them to the site where they will become part of the online exhibit.

A selection picked by the curators will go on to become part of the real world exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in giant projections on the walls and finally, on World Mental Health Day, beamed out from the famous lights of Piccadilly.

Lara Journo-Leggatt, who curated the exhibition, says Take A Moment – and now the idea of people uploading and sharing their own selfies – is about reminding people to take a breath.

‘Each time someone takes a photo and shares it, it’s spreading the message to take a moment, take a breath – come back to the situation with a bit of clarity.

‘It’s a tiny action, a visual prompt.

‘And when you see other people doing it, it might help you remember to do the same.’

Photographer Ray Burmiston told Metro he’s been ‘blown away’ by the response to the exhibition.

He said: ‘What I think is so brilliant is not necessarily the photos I took that are up on the walls. It’s that so many members of public have got involved and uploaded their own pics – and that they have just been so beautifully done. Some are really, really brilliant.

‘Lara and I feel humbled that so many people have got into it and got into the narrative of it and what it could do to people’s lives.

‘It’s more important than the pictures on the wall. I was just making art. Now this has become a spring board for something bigger.

‘And that’s all you can hope for as an artist.’

The photos are presented at the National Portrait Gallery until 15 October by Art of London, a cultural initiative which unlocks art across the capital.

As well as welcoming visitors to see the work on the walls of the gallery, they have also identified more spots across town where people can ‘Take A Moment’.

‘It’s all about showcasing art and creativity of the likes of Ray and Lara,’ a spokesman said today.

‘As well as members of the public being able to find the display here at the NPG and at Piccadilly lights, we want to highlight that there are plenty of places to take a moment and find a moment of solace amid the chaos of the West End.’

To upload your own selfie, visit the NPG and take your own photo amid the portraits, or upload via the website at

To upload your own selfie, visit the NPG and take your own photo amid the portraits, or upload via the website at

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