A United Kingdom-based Filipino nurse's portrait became the subject of seven professional paint artists for the UK National Health Service initiative dubbed "portraitsforNHSheroes" in acknowledgment of her role in treating patients with COVID-19.
"I didn’t know Kit personally. [But] along with many artists in the United Kingdom during the pandemic, I was feeling absolutely useless and producing portraits of our unsung heroes in the National Health Service was something I could do to show Kit and others in the NHS my gratitude for all they were doing," shared Lynsey S. Cleaver, a 44-year-old professional artist and muralist, referring to Kit Torres, a nurse for the Northumbria NHS Trust.
"She approached me through the Tom Croft portraits for NHS heroes initiative that I had signed up to. I had put a call out on my Instagram page @Lynseycleaverartist to paint NHS workers who were risking their lives everyday working during the height of the pandemic," she added in an interview via Messenger on September 6.
The other artists who painted Torres were Mel Beadel, Ruth Jones, Emma Bennett, Lucy Anderson, Shanaz Rouxel, and Steve Sinnott.
"There was absolutely no fee for the painting. All the NHS portraits I did -- of Vicky Jones who is an ambulance paramedic from Warwickshire, of Julia Sparks who is a ward pharmacy technician, and Dr William White who worked in COVID-19 wards in Liverpool -- were for free."
Later, Kit received the seventh portrait.
This pencil sketch was created by Steve Sinnott, an artist based in Lancashire.
The #portraitsforNHSheroes is the brainchild of Oxford-based artist Tom Croft, who offered to paint a free portrait of the first NHS worker to contact him.
He has encouraged other artists to do the same, and his suggestion "quickly snowballed with hundreds of artists all over the UK offering their talents as a way of thanking all key workers for their service at this time."
"'As a Christian and a nurse by profession, this has made me realize how blessed I am, that I can somehow share my services to humanity in the best way that I possibly could," said Torres in an interview by The Baptist Union-UK. —LBG, GMA News