Friday, July 03, 2020

New VIRTUAL Exhibition of Portraits for NHS Heroes

One of the things I discovered this week when investigating the scope to produce online exhibitions was that there is now an online exhibition of portraits of NHS Heroes by 15 artists who all members of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters (CBPP)

Still of the Video of the exhibition 

Tom Croft - the portrait painter who initiated the Portraits of NHS Heroes Initiative - partnered with The Net Gallery to create a VIRTUAL Exhibition showcasing portraits of NHS staff, created during the current crisis.

The virtual exhibition does two great things
  • first it celebrates frontline workers through portraiture and 
  • second it will help raise funds for NHS Charities Together, to help support to the ongoing COVID-19 relief effort.
The Covid-19 Urgent Appeal was launched by NHS Charities Together to acknowledge and support NHS staff, volunteers and volunteers impacted by Covid-19 across the country. The money raised is funding grants to help NHS charities support NHS staff, volunteers and patients in ways above and beyond what NHS funding can ordinarily provide, including wellbeing support and costs associated with travel, parking, accommodation and volunteer expenses. It also provides somewhere comfortable so staff and volunteers can take a break, use of electronic-tablets so patients, staff and volunteers can stay in contact with loved ones, and counselling support to protect mental health and help staff and volunteers process what they are dealing with.
The exhibition comprises 15 portraits of NHS staff. Some are painted in their normal work clothes. Others are painted in what they wore while treating and caring for Covid patients

The portraits were scanned and printed using a high res printer and then installed in the interior of the Fitzrovia Chapel in London, the former chapel of Middlesex Hospital and then both were scanned and the exhibition was constructed.

Each portrait has two circles bottom left and bottom right

  • bottom left provides the name of the worker and a quotation from them
  • bottom right provides a pop-out of the portrait with the title of the portrait and the name of the artist 
This is what you see when you click on the right hand circle below each portrait

There are also circles on the floor which allow you to navigate
where you want to "stand" to view the paintings. Use you mouse to scan left and right.

This is what Tom said on his page about the initiative
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. Absolutely.

So I posted a video on Instagram saying I would like to paint a free portrait to the first NHS Key Worker to contact me. I also suggested that other portrait artists might like to offer one too. Artists were asked to post their portraits under the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes so everyone could be seen online in a virtual exhibition. Then at the end of the pandemic, when restrictions are lifted and mass gatherings are allowed again, we could have a wonderful exhibition to celebrate and say thank you, to the heroes of the NHS. Hopefully this part will happen in time…

You can follow #portraitsfornhsheroes on Instagram - and see more portraits of NHS Heroes. There are now over 12,000 posts which carry this hashtag.  See some of them below

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