When the UK went into lockdown in March 2020 to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, artist Tom Croft offered to paint an NHS key worker's portrait for free. Unsure how to help and offer his support, he wanted to capture and record the bravery and heroism of frontline workers who were risking their physical and mental health for our wellbeing. Tom suggested that other artists might want to do the same.
The response to the initiative was staggering and Tom personally paired up 500 artists and NHS workers in the first two weeks. When numbers reached the thousands, Tom set up a traffic light system so that artists and frontline workers could match themselves. Portraits in all mediums followed, from oils to pencil, sculpture to ceramic, mosaic to mural.
This book presents a selection of these remarkable images. Showcased here they are both a celebration and a remembrance, in physical form, of the dedication of our NHS key workers.
Exhibition: Portraits for NHS Heroes | Lisa Timmerman, Leicester Royal Infirmary (from 9 March 2021)
Tom Croft, 'Portraits for NHS Heroes', 224 pages, Published by Bloomsbury Caravel