[Extra]Ordinary Portraits Competition

[Extra]Ordinary Portraits is a portrait project and competition open to anyone in the UK aged 25 and under. We are running this in partnership with the Royal Drawing School.

[Extra]Ordinary Portraits Competition

Image: Portrait of Rosie Heilbrun, survivor of the Holocaust, by Gideon Summerfield


Create a portrait based on the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 – Ordinary People. 30 selected portraits will be displayed in an online gallery and showcased in the UK Commemorative Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023.

We will launch new resources and videos in September, so come back to this page to access those and find the submission page to enter the competition.

Take part:

  1. Choose a subject for your portrait following the guidance below. We have provided some life stories at the bottom of the page, and more are available in our resources hub, or you can research someone else you are interested in or know.
  2. Learn about this person and their life experiences. What makes this ordinary person’s life extraordinary? How can you show this in a portrait?
  3. Create your portrait using a visual art form of your choice, such as photography, drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, graphic design or typography.
  4. Send us a picture of your portrait before 5 December 2022. The submission page will be available here from September 2022.

Portrait of Renie Inow by Gideon Summerfield

Who should I create a portrait of?

We want to see portraits of people whose lives have been affected by any of the themes relating to Holocaust Memorial Day. This includes survivors of the Holocaust or other genocides, people affected by conflict and migration, or people who have been targeted because of their identity. You can read the life story of a Holocaust or genocide survivor on our website and create a portrait of them, or you can choose someone else. Maybe you already know someone from your local community who has a story like this to share. You must explain why you have chosen this person and how they relate to our work.


‘They were more than a number’ by David Southwell

When is the competition deadline?

The competition ends on Monday 5 December 2022, submit your portrait by midnight on that day to be considered for the competition. However, you can still take part after this date by sharing a photo of your portrait online and using the hashtag #HMDextraordinaryportraits.

The Royal Drawing School is an independent charity established by HRH The Prince of Wales with artist Catherine Goodman in 2000 to raise the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practise. The School believes that drawing from observation is crucial for all aspects of visual learning, thinking and practice. It is one of only a few institutions offering in-depth, quality tuition for those who wish to develop their observational drawing skills.