Earlier this year, Lilian McCann, a member of our Art department, joined other artists in creating a piece of artwork, as a contribution to the NHS portrait initiative scheme. Now these pieces of work are being published by Bloomsbury Publishing, with proceeds from the book going to NHS Charities.

A virtual exhibition, held early on in the pandemic, showcased portraits of NHS staff and was designed to celebrate the enormous contribution of frontline workers. Lily contributed a painting of Paramedic, Sam Strutton.

She said: “I was honoured to paint Sam’s portrait; he has the most amazing smile.”

Sam added: “People have been so unbelievably kind to the NHS. It has reminded everyone why they wanted to do this type of work in the first place.”

Artist Tom Croft who partnered with the Net Gallery to create the initiative explains: “I put a post out on social media offering a free portrait to the first NHS key worker to contact me, and suggested other portrait artists might like to do the same. I asked everyone to post their portraits under the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes.”

The resulting book will come out in November.

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