Swindon artists throw their weight behind NHS portrait challenge

By Ben Fitzgerald - 21 May 2020


Members of Swindon Visual Artists have risen to the challenge of an ambitious project #portraitsfornhsheroes to create portraits of NHS workers - during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oxford artist Thomas Croft (who appeared on Sky Portrait Artist of the Year) was at a loss as to what to paint during lockdown. Tom put out an offer on Instagram saying he would paint a free portrait for the first National Health Service (NHS) worker to reply. Tom received so many requests that he has now put more than 500 NHS workers in touch with artists who volunteered to paint them. The initiative has taken off and portrait artists who are keen to become involved in thanking their NHS heros post the green screen attached until they receive an NHS match. 

If you are a portrait artist who would like to get involved just follow the instructions on Tom Croft's guidance screens attached or see his Instagram page at @tomcroftartist. 

Portraits can be viewed on #portraitsfornhsheroes on Instagram. 

The idea has also been adopted in other countries, including Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States. 

Swindon artists taking part are: Carol burns painting Dr Jo Haining. @artisbycarolburns, 

Caryn Koh painting of a Gastroenterologist who wished to remain anonymous @carynbearkoh 

Jiya Arora (art student) painting of Rhian a senior midwife and the ward manager for Hazel Ward at the Great Western Hospital. @jiyascanvas 

Deepti Arora painting of Dr Elfadil Elmahdi is a radiologist from Liverpool. @deepti_arora27 

Caroline Day painting of Jac Dawson Phlebotomist at GWH, Swindon. @carolinedayartist 

Vernon Jones painting of NHS hero Naomi who works on an acute medicine ward at Addenbrooke's in Cambridge.

Brad Guilhem (Yr 12 Ridgeway). Portrait of NHS hero his mum GWH, Swindon. @art_ridgeway 

Caryn koh painting of Amber Luong - ICU nurse, Belfast.

Caryn koh - painting Vincenzo, Italian nurse, London, specialist orthopaedic nurse now redeployed to fight the pandemic. @carynbearkoh 

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