Artist Sarah Harvey has drawn a portrait of a nursing assistant working for St Clare Hospice in Essex as part of a national campaign recognising the work of NHS frontline staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The #portraitsfornhsheroes campaign began when artist Tom Croft put out a call on Instagram to see if any NHS workers would like to have their portrait painted for free. He wasn’t expecting to receive hundreds of replies, so instead of turning them down he put 500 frontline workers in touch with professional artists who volunteered to paint them.
There are now plans to hold an exhibition of many of the portraits once the pandemic is over, and similar campaigns are running in the US, Spain, Belgium, and Ireland.
Sarah Harvey decided to participate as a way to give something back. “When I saw the ‘portraits for NHS heroes’ campaign, I knew it was something I wanted to get behind,” she says. “As a painter by profession, my talent lies in the skills of my hands – and I had been trying to think of a way I could make a difference. When I saw Tom Croft’s project, I felt compelled to jump on board too.
“I am truly grateful to all healthcare and key workers who are putting their lives at risk every day to save others. This is my way of giving them some truly deserved recognition, and trying to show my sincere thanks to them for all they are doing.”
Commenting on her portrait of nursing assistant Sarah Lord, she said: “My friend Sarah works for St Clare’s Hospice at Home team, caring for people with life-limiting illnesses in the community. I know how hard she is working during this pandemic, and am in awe of what she does, day in and day out. I have drawn a pencil sketch of Sarah from a photograph of her taken after a long night shift caring for patients in their own homes. The work of St Clare Hospice is invaluable, and this is my way of thanking them for all they continue to do – caring for people on the front line.”
Sarah has been inundated with requests for free portraits for healthcare and key workers via her social media pages, and will be working through as many of them as she can. You can see her finished portraits on her Instagram and Facebook pages.
For more information visit St Clare Hospice