Everyday Heroes

Sep – Nov 2020

The outdoor spaces around the Hayward Gallery and the Southbank Centre come alive with Everyday Heroes, a free open-air exhibition celebrating key workers in a vivid series of art and poetry commissions.

Look out for large-scale works

The exhibition is made up of large-scale displays for passersby to delight in the featured artists’ inventive approaches to image-making and poetry while reflecting on the everyday heroes who have helped to hold society together during this time.

Featuring artists including Michael Armitage, Jeremy Deller, Lubaina Himid and Ryan Mosley, Everyday Heroes puts the spotlight on those who have kept the country running during the coronavirus crisis. In many cases, the portraits result from close personal connections: Barbara Walker has drawn a portrait of her daughter who works as a nurse, while Ryan Mosley’s painting depicts his brother, a train driver.

Enjoy newly commissioned poems

Alongside the visual artworks, newly commissioned poems by writers including Poet Laureate Simon Armitage are presented for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by at a moment where entering a gallery no longer feels like the norm.

At this particular moment, perhaps more than ever, this kind of outdoor exhibition can play a crucial role in furnishing the inspiration which visual art and poetry provide to our collective imagination and civic life.
Ralph Rugoff, Hayward Gallery Director

The participating artists are Michael Armitage, Lydia Blakeley, Jeremy Deller, Laura Grace Ford, Lubaina Himid, Mahtab Hussain, Evan Ifekoya, Matthew Krishanu, Ryan Mosley, Janette Parris, Alessandro Raho, Silvia Rosi, Benjamin Senior, Juergen Teller, Barbara Walker and Caroline Walker.

Poets taking part in the project include Simon Armitage, Raymond Antrobus, Romalyn Ante, Jackie Kay, Vanessa Kisuule, and Roger Robinson.


Across the Southbank Centre site

visit Hayward Gallery


Take part in the Everyday Heroes exhibition

This is a call-out for children aged 11 and under to send us pictures for our open-air exhibition, Everyday Heroes. 

apply here

Filter events

pick a date

event type