Rankin Captures Intimate Portraits of Diverse NHS Workers

Honoring the efforts of those who played critical roles amid COVID-19.

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World-renowned British photographer, Rankin, has captured a series of portraits highlighting diverse NHS workers who played critical roles in managing the response to COVID-19. Made in collaboration with NHS England, the project features a total of 12 photographs to celebrate the British National Health Service.

“When I was about 20 I worked as a theatre porter at Edgware hospital. It was a life defining time for me. Having grown up in quite a closeted family environment, I got to see what real life was like. During that time I met and worked with some incredible people,” said Rankin to HYPEBEAST. “They were like a family. Hard-working, committed, passionate and caring, they always inspired me. When Covid-19 hit, it was obvious to me that our frontline workers would be putting their lives at risk. That made me want to do this series. To try to do my bit, if even in a small way!”

Accompanying each portrait are descriptions that offer viewers a glimpse into the lives of the people who have supported the UK during the health crisis. Snapshots include doctors supporting deprived communities in small surgeries in London to cleaners serving as comfort to COVID-19 patients in the wards.

When asked about his experiences in traveling across England to capture these portraits, Rankin expressed: “Initially it was quite strange, when you first leave lockdown social distancing feels very rude, quite unnatural and difficult to reset yourself to do. Plus just driving on the motorways that are empty was super strange. What really stuck with me though, was how humble every single subject was. They are all such brilliant personalities and very individual.”

Rankin has photographed: 
- Emma, COVID ward nurse, Manchester
- Laura, hospital cleaner, Leighton
- Farzana, GP, London
- Roopak, COVID-related psychiatry, London
- Sarah, IT role, London
- Claudia, midwife, Coventry
- Anne, district nurse, Midlands
- Marc, ICU consultant, Cheshire
- Ade, pharmacist, Bristol
- Ali, hospital porter, Bristol
- Jack, 111 call handler, Midlands
- Stuart, paramedic, South Central Ambulance Service

View the slideshow above to check out the full series of portraits. Visit NHS England’s website to learn more.

In related news, all four Tate galleries around the U.K. will reopen on July 27.

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