Citizens of Hounslow

Citizens of Hounslow is a heart-warming portrait series highlighting local heroes. Nominated by fellow community members, the portraits show how people come together, inspire each other, and support their friends, neighbours and the wider community.

On 24th March 2021, marking one year from the first UK lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic, our heroes were invited to sit for their portraits via Zoom and Facebook live. Drawn in a fun, vibrant style by illustrator Aleesha Nandhra, these digital portraits show the vast range of ways people can help each other.

Knitting, litter picking, breathing exercises, dance and volunteering were just some of the ways in which our heroes supported the well-being of others, by boosting access to activities and knowledge in their community.

The portraits were printed as postcards (and distributed to people across Hounslow), and will be exhibited in public spaces across the borough throughout 2022 in a celebration of the Citizens of Hounslow!

About the Project

This project was devised by Hounslow Local Advisory Group (LAG), with support from the Heston & Cranford LAG, to showcase heroes in their communities, and the ways in which local people support others’ wellbeing, often in informal and unseen ways.

Members of Hounslow LAG sought nominations of people who had helped their communities over the previous, challenging year. They then commissioned Aleesha to draw the portraits in one to one Zoom meetings.

Long time LAG collaborator Satish was nominated by friends and family shortly after her untimely passing. Satish was an English teacher for 40 years, Chair of the Hounslow Seniors Trust and, amongst many other community activities, ran laughter workshops. 

During the pandemic, to contribute towards people’s mental well-being, she created laughter videos to help lighten lockdown. She is missed by all who knew her.

About the Artist

Aleesha is an Illustrator and Printmaker from London. Her works manage to carefully tread the line between being whimsical and emotionally evocative. A graduate of the Cambridge School of Art, Aleesha’s work manages to capture the spirit of several cultural phenomena, be they from home or abroad, and also manages to spark fun and life into objects that are otherwise considered mundane. She continues to create works on a freelance basis for clients including Google, LA Times, The Barbican and more. www.aleeshanandhra.com/