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Young Cornish artists celebrate NHS with portraits

Published: May 12, 2020

Young people across Cornwall are using their creative skills to celebrate and show appreciation for the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis.

A new creative project, entitled The Face Of Our NHS, is bringing together young artists to show their appreciation for medical key workers in Cornwall.

Organised by The Cornwall College Group in collaboration with the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, the project invites artists aged four to 18 years old from all over Cornwall to make a special portrait of an NHS key worker.

Inspired by the artist Tom Croft, Art & Design Lecturer Trudi Port from The Creative & Digital Academy at Cornwall College St Austell, came up with the idea to extend the project to include young people, giving them “an outlet to show their own admiration” for the “amazing dedication and tireless work of NHS staff”.

Trudi said: “Having seen the portraits that Tom Croft and others have made, I thought they were wonderful, but all done by professional artists. It seemed like a great opportunity to ask the youth of Cornwall to make their own artwork to show their appreciation, not only raising a massive voice but showing tenderness by the very young. We need all young artists to unite as one and show their thanks.”

All the artwork submitted to the project will be exhibited both in an online gallery and then in a physical exhibition following the pandemic.

Trudi continued: “I thought how amazing it would be if we could get hundreds of pieces of artwork and put them all up on a wall somewhere at Treliske, where they could remain to remind us forever of  the work and sacrifice that the NHS have made and the gratitude and thanks that the public felt.”

Artist Tom Croft, whose portrait of A&E nurse Harriet Durkin has sparked a creative outpouring from artists around the world, said “it’s wonderful that Trudi has taken the #portraitsfornhsheroes initiative in a whole new direction”.

He continued: “She has offered children, who may well be struggling for motivation and focus at the moment, a chance to have purpose and drive and maybe a way of them partly processing these extraordinary times we’re living through. The best part is giving them a chance to say a very personal thank you to the amazing NHS key workers through their portraits.”

To create their artwork, young artists can access photographs online of a number of NHS key workers, who have generously volunteered themselves as portraits. Many of these images show medical and healthcare professionals in the protective equipment they use every day when battling coronavirus.

Pupil Max Thornton, who is in Year 9 at St Ives School, has created his own portrait for the project.

Max said: “The idea of battling an enemy, wearing masks, dressed in uniforms and death all work to show the similarities and the similar solution – heroes leading a unified nation against a global foe.”

The Face Of Our NHS project is open to artists aged four to 18 years old in Cornwall. Photographs of NHS keyworkers are available to download at the following web address: HERE

Any style, medium or size can be used and once complete, submissions should be photographed and emailed to trudi.port@st-austell.ac.uk before the closing date of 1st June 2020.

To find out about studying at the Creative & Digital Academy at Cornwall College St Austell, please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk

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