During the 2020 lockdown, portrait artist, Tom Croft, had an idea to offer portraits to NHS workers.

His portrait of Harriet Durkin, an A&E nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary who had just returned to work after recovering from coronavirus, became the first of hundreds, after other artists expressed interest in offering their paintbrushes for the cause.

“In the past portraits have been seen as a status symbol, or produced to celebrate someone, mark some significant achievements, milestones and potentially to elevate that person in the eyes of others,” said Croft. “It also immortalises people, as the portraits are likely to live far longer than the subjects.

“So who should be immortalised today? Who should line the walls of galleries and have future generations look back on as the people who really made a difference and stepped up, in our latest darkest hour. The people who put self-interest and self-preservation to one side and literally risked their lives knowingly on a daily basis for our well being. The NHS workers.”

Sylvia Says:

As a portrait painter I wanted to thank these amazing people so I put out my offer on Facebook and was contacted by several frontline NHS workers.

I chose three lovely ladies to gift with a portrait in acrylics, painted from a selfie they sent me.

Emma Kilhooley, an advanced nurse practitioner from Yeadon, GP Magdalena Bejma, and Laura Langford, a practice nurse from Ipswich.

All three were delighted with their gift, and I was more than happy to be able to find a small way to say thank you…