09:00AM, Friday 05 June 2020
Rainbows painted by Lu Willis
A group of artists who have been painting portraits of frontline heroes as part of a social media project will have their work displayed in the town centre throughout June and July.
Created by Maidenhead’s 124 Studios, who occupy a space in Nicholsons, the portraits can for now be found in a shop window next to Iceland in the shopping centre.
The idea to create portraits of NHS workers began with Oxford artist Tom Croft, who offered to paint a portrait of one such hero for free to lift their spirits.
After receiving hundreds of requests to do more he put a call out to professional and amateur artists to volunteer their skills for the cause through the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes
Julie Bennett, Josie Clouting, Michael Restrick, and Lu Willis are the willing participants from the studios who volunteered their talents to the cause.
Kelly Masters painted by Josie Clouting.
In less than two hours of getting on board with the project Julie received 15 requests from frontline NHS staff, and said ‘it is an honour for me to give them a gift of thanks’.
“It was quite overwhelming to be contacted by so many of these brave NHS individuals who liked my work and being able to bring joy and light into their day-to-day lives when they are giving so much to everyone,” she said.
“The whole experience has given me an insight into their daily lives as frontline NHS workers and what they have to face during this pandemic.”
Ellen Calloo painted painted by Julie Bennett.
Michael and Lu’s paintings are not portraits and are available for sale. Michael’s NHS series paintings are priced at £200 each, with 50 per cent of the sale price donated to the NHS, and Lu’s Rainbows is for sale for £50 with all proceeds going to the NHS.
On Tuesday, June 9 the works will be moved to the 124 Studios opposite Tescos where they will stay until Monday, June 29, from which time they will be displayed in Unit one, High Street Mall.
For more information go to www.thomascroft.co.uk/portraits-for-nhs-heroes/
Captain NHS painted by Michael Restrick.
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