AN AWARD-winning portrait photographer from near Malpas has paid tribute to frontline social care workers in a national 'Behind the Mask' exhibition

Julie Herbert Adams, based in Stretton, has been chosen as only one of 100 photographers across the UK to take part in the 2020 Vision Project.

A national exhibition and book will be released later this year, showcasing 600 frontline healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic without PPE or uniforms in a bid to capture their personalities.

Julie has focused her attention mainly on social care workers who she feels were initially overlooked when the Covid-19 crisis first hit the UK care homes.

"I used to care for vulnerable adults with severe epilepsy and learning disabilities," said Julie. "So initially I wondered why the nation was clapping for the NHS without recognizing the wonderful work our social care workers were doing too.

"When I was invited to participate in the 2020 Vision Project, I decided to use this opportunity to shine a light on those caring for the elderly, with disabilities, those with dementia or who were alone without family support.

"It must be so hard trying to explain Covid-19 and the lockdown particularly why your family were not allowed to visit you anymore.

"I feel really privileged to do this for them".

Julie's images will mainly include social care workers from Community Integrated Care, a specialist Dementia Care home as well as neonatal nurse Beverly Smith from the Liverpool Women's Hospital.

"By chance, Beverly got in touch with me to ask if I would photograph her as part of the 2020 Vision Project," added Julie.

"Having just volunteered as a remembrance photographer with Remember My Baby, I couldn't say no.

"Her stories of how families have had to cope with their premature babies was heartbreaking and yet I focused on capturing her gentle and kind expression."

The 2020 Vision Project is an initiative created by Brighton based photographer Sophie Sheinwald and film director Annie Murray and has received Arts Council and National Lottery funding with the help of Horizon, a charity that helps people in recovery from addiction through creative media.

Sophie said "We saw a strong need for the public at large to recognize the people within the NHS and the wider healthcare system so we invited 100 portrait photographers to join our effort to build a powerful national exhibition of photography to validate and pay tribute to these amazing people".

Meanwhile Annie added: "We are interested in the human connection that each photographer brings to the public through their individual, unique skills and expression.

"The aim is to exhibit these portraits across the UK and beyond".