NHS frontline heroes portrait marks anniversary of lockdown

At the height of the first phase of the pandemic, artist Alan Stephens offered to paint NHS Fife heroes to show his appreciation.

NHS frontline heroes portrait marks anniversary of lockdown NHS Fife

An artist’s painting of healthcare heroes has been unveiled to mark a year since the coronavirus lockdown began.

The portrait of five NHS Fife staff, by local painter Alan Stephens, has been hung at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

At the height of the first wave last year, Mr Stephens offered to make a work of art to show his appreciation to those working tirelessly to care for patients in his area.

He said: “Like many other people, I was watching the news and reading the newspapers, and hearing about the heroic efforts of healthcare workers who were looking after those who had caught Covid-19.

The portrait of healthcare staff (Alan Stephens)NHS Fife

“Your instinct is to do whatever you can to show your support and gratitude in any small way you can for the work they were doing to care for local people.”

Normally, Mr Stephens would invite his subjects to sit before him as he painted but due to the virus and restrictions he instead had to use photographs. NHS Fife invited staff to submit photos and then the artist created his work based on them.

He said: “With the portrait now complete, I hope it goes some way to capturing the resilience and dedication shown by healthcare workers in caring for the people of Fife during this pandemic.”

“I think it’s a great representation of how the pandemic has affected each and every discipline… despite the challenges we have kept going.”

Amanda Kowbel, senior immunisation practitioner

Amanda Kowbel, a senior immunisation practitioner, submitted a picture and is featured in the finished portrait.

She said: “I think it’s a great representation of how the pandemic has affected each and every discipline within NHS Fife, and despite the challenges we have kept going. 

“For me, I am really proud to be able to represent my own team, and each one of us proudly puts our uniform on each day and gives our very best in whatever way we are needed.

“I hope that the next generation will look at the painting and see that it shows the professionalism exhibited by the staff during the crisis and want to join us.”

The painting was handed into the care of the Fife Art Group. With a grant from the Fife Health Charity and the assistance of utility company Engie, the piece has been mounted and is on display in Victoria Hospital’s main thoroughfare in time to mark the anniversary of the initial lockdown on March 23, 2021.

The artwork is located in the main thoroughfare leading to the hospital’s inpatient wards, in the newest wing of Victoria Hospital (Alan Stephens/NHS Fife)NHS Fife

NHS Fife chief executive, Carol Potter, said: “We have received quite incredible support and generosity from local people throughout the pandemic, many of whom have gone out of their way to show their appreciation for the tireless work of healthcare staff here in Fife.

“I want to offer our most heartfelt thanks to Mr Stephens for the portrait, which I’m sure will serve as a fitting reminder of the incredible efforts of healthcare staff during the local response to Covid-19.” 

You can see more of Alan Stephens’ work here.