The photographer Rankin is spearheading a campaign to use a social media symbol to raise awareness of heart disease after being inspired by his own personal experience.
The “Heart for a Heart” campaign, created for World Heart Day, is a response to the fact that every three minutes someone dies from heart or circulatory disease in the UK. Its aim is to get people who spend their days tapping the heart symbol on Instagram and Twitter to instead design their own heart-inspired artwork and post it on social media on World Heart Day, on Friday.
Rankin, who suffered from a heart condition as a child, and whose father died from a heart condition 12 years ago, has created images and asked some of his favourite artists, photographers and creatives to do the same.
“You have great artwork to inspire everybody,” he said. “Everyone can draw a heart, it’s one of the simplest symbols to draw and it works across all cultures and languages. The heart is the universal symbol. It can be romantic, it can be broken, it can be used on T-shirts to profess a love for a city. And, in recent years, it is synonymous with social media. The team and I wanted to make that mean something.”
Rankin, whose photographic subjects have ranged from the Queen to Madonna, said he had suffered high blood pressure as an adult and had made lifestyle changes in response. He has since starting running and turned vegetarian last year.
Among those participating are actors Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan and Anna Friel; fashion designer Issey Miyake; singer Sharleen Spiteri and model Jack Guinness.
Images include simple sketches, paintings, selfies and photographs of heart-shaped objects such as cherries and leaves.