Photographer Tara Gillen captures Bedford NHS workers for ‘Behind the Mask’ project

Tara Gillen
Care assistant, Bethany Bean captured by Tara Gillen

Local photographer, Tara Gillen, has been selected as one of only 100 across the country to be part of a creative project that celebrates and pays tribute to NHS workers in a ‘Behind the Mask’ exhibition in London.

The 2020 Vision project was funded by the Arts Council and features portraits of over 600 healthcare workers displayed in an exhibition and compiled into a book to commemorate their commitment and hard work during the crisis.

Tara, who lives in Bedford and runs, was chosen to represent the area, and her photographs of Bethany Bean, a care assistant and Caitlin Evans, a midwife were selected for the exhibition.

Explaining how she found her models, Tara told the Bedford Independent, “I put a post out on my business page asking NHS staff and care workers if they’d like to be involved in the project.

“I was contacted and recommended to quite a few ladies. Three of them confirmed they would like to be involved and two of my images were chosen for an exhibition of 100 images out of 600.

“I really enjoyed being part of such an interesting project and to highlight the hard work and sacrifices made by the frontline workers.

“For me it was also to get back out doing a job that I love and being part of a large network of photographers. Hopefully one day we will all be able to meet up at an exhibition of our work.

“I felt proud to be able to celebrate the resilience and hard work that our healthcare workers in Bedford have shown. This project aims to show who the people behind the masks are and give them the recognition they deserve.

“The portraits were taken outdoors and in accordance with social distancing guidelines.”

The Lottery-funded collaboration was initiated by Sophie Sheinwald, a photographer and creator of visual story book Generation Share, one of Forbes’ top isolation reads and Annie Murray, who is the founder of Horizon, a charitable organisation dedicated to providing film and media workshops for people in recovery from addiction.

To learn about the 2020 Vision Project, visit

Tara will shortly be launching Christmas photo shoot packages (in line with government guidelines). Visit her website for more information.

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