Shops around Kensington and Chelsea are displaying giant sized photos symbolising humanity and community throughout the second nationwide lockdown, in aid of the YOUmanity project aiming to unite the borough.
The window displays consist of images shot by American award-winning photographer David Taggart, and are on sale to the public at a fraction of Mr Taggart’s usual price until December 13th.
All proceeds are to be donated to CW+, the official charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (CWFT).
Aiming to unite the local community during a time of isolation and disconnection, the Republic of YOUmanity project was conceived just 36 hours before the latest lockdown by art patrons Maryam Eisler, Maria Sukkar and Shirley Elghanian with the collaboration of Taggart.
Author and fellow photographer Eisler said: “We should be concentrating on humanity and the qualities that make us human, namely compassion, inclusivity and empathy during this time of disconnectedness.
“Art has the power to connect us all, enabling dialogue. It’s time to put traditional limitations aside and concentrate on helping one another and coming together as a community.”
The thought-provoking images of people across the world were captured by Taggart’s decades of globe-trotting.
The renowned photographer spent his early years in Oxford as the son of an Oxford University professor.
He maintains a strong “spiritual, ancestral, and cultural affinity” with England and aims to encourage the ethos of community and humanity through his photos.
Taggart said: “ My hope is for people to look at themselves through others, opening hearts and minds. Republic of humanity is about storytelling; it is a community of seekers who desire to understand our shared humanity through my pictures.”
Eisler, Sukkar and Elghanian alongside Taggart are aiming to raise £50,000 for CW+ to fund projects at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
CW+’s current Covid-19 Response Fund has been able to support trust hospitals with new equipment and technology, support for frontline staff and in research and development, including the PIONEER clinical trial aimed at those with mild to moderate Covid-19.
CW+ CEO Chris Chaney said: “The response from our community in this most challenging of years has been incredible.
“Our longstanding links to the art world through our pioneering Arts in Health programme gives the support of the YOUmanity project even greater relevance, and I am sure this fantastic initiative will have a tangible and lasting impact on the care we provide to patients at the hospitals.”
Participating retailers include interior design firm Linley, jeweller Laurence Coste, designers Catherine Prevost and Melissa Odabash and restaurants Aubaine and Daphne’s.
People are invited to support the YOUmanity project by the purchasing of a limited edition signed print from a selection of 50 images of Taggart’s work, as well as visiting his displayed art work across Kensington and Chelsea.
This initiative is generously supported by the Youmanity Charitable Organisation.
You can also check out SWL’s story about an art mural in Chelsea here.