Exhibitions, Gallery, News

‘Covid Changemakers: The Extra Mile’ Celebrates University of Leicester Staff and Students at Exhibition Launch

A man and a women with their arms around each other and their backs to the camera. Beyond them are people in a gallery.

On the evening of the 12 July we celebrated the launch of ‘Covid Changemakers: The Extra Mile’ with the University of Leicester.

Our communities came together to experience the exhibition that brings together portraits of and audio interviews from University of Leicester students, academics and professional services staff who were nominated by colleagues in recognition of the significant contribution they made to University and public life during the pandemic.

Internationally-renowned South African photographer Alice Mann was commissioned to create portraits of the nominees and the result is an opportunity to engage with and reflect upon the hidden personal stories from the past three years. The series of insightful portraits aim to empower the subjects and allows for engaged and nuanced representations, a method which Alice uses in all of her work.

A group of people in a large gallery space looking at portraits on the wall.

Over two weeks in October 2022 Alice worked with over 40 of the nominees coming from all areas of the university, students, the Student Union, academics, professional services along with Estates and Campus Services. The portraits were all taken on campus with the locations chosen to reflect the differing roles that the nominees undertake. Each sitter was also offered the opportunity to be recorded talking about their COVID experience, to add another layer of context to the exhibition. The recordings will be accessioned into the local history archive as a permanent record of the pandemic, while the photographs themselves will be added to the University Art Collection as a permanent reminder of the pandemic.

The exhibition also showcases the work of diverse colleagues behind the University’s world-changing research undertaken during the pandemic, much of which continues to have an impact on the treatment and prevention of Covid today.

Over 100 guests gathered for a speech by Kerry Law, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Professional Services) at UoL and a member of our board, and our Deputy Director and Head of Visual Arts Jeremy Webster. They both gave thanks to all the attendees and the staff at Attenborough Arts Centre who worked to bring the exhibition together, while reflecting on the need for recognition of each participant’s incredible work during COVID.

Covid Changemakers: The Extra Mile is open to the public from 13 July – 3 September in Gallery 1. All our galleries are free entry and open 7 days a week, weekdays 12pm – 5pm and weekend 12pm – 4pm.

A white women with blonde hair and a black shirt smiling next to a portrait of herself on the wall.

A white women with brown and blonde wavy hair holding her pregnant belly and smiling at the camera. Behind her is a portrait of herself.

A white man with a blue shirt holding his child, who is wearing a red and blue cape and red superhero mask. They are smiling next to a portrait of the man.

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