‘Everyday Hero’

Putney postman, Richard Sullivan, stars in National Portrait Gallery photo exhibition

A photo of Putney postman Richard Sullivan in fancy dress was one of 100 specially selected pictures chosen by the Duchess of Cambridge for an exhibition displaying portraits taken during lockdown.

The Hold Still exhibition was created in partnership with The National Portrait Gallery and saw Kate Middleton and a panel of judges choose from 31,000 entries to select 100 photos that captured the spirit of the UK lockdown. The digital exhibition went live on The National Portrait Gallery’s website on Monday.

The Queen, who looked through several of the portraits, said that she and the duchess ‘were inspired to see how the photographs have captured the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time, whether that is through celebrating frontline workers, recognising community spirit or showing the efforts of individuals supporting those in need’.

She added: ‘The Duchess of Cambridge and I send our best wishes and congratulations to all those who submitted a portrait to the project.’

People of all ages were invited to submit a photograph that they had taken during lockdown. In the six weeks that the project was open, 31,598 images were submitted.

Among the images shared was ‘Everyday Hero,’ a portrait of Richard, the ‘Putney postman,’ taken by photographer Arnhel de Serra, who said: ‘When I drove past Richard, I had to do a double-take, as I couldn't believe he was out on his postman’s round in fancy dress.

‘I asked if I could photograph him, and over a few days we got to know each other. Given the doomsday scenario that the media were portraying in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, I felt very strongly that here was a man who had something deeply personal and positive to offer his community.’

Click here to see more photos of Richard delivering during lockdown in different costumes.

15 Sep 2020