During the pandemic, Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing received generous contributions of art from many individuals. This art captured moments in time of the feelings of the nation. Some of the art was reflective, some art was uplifting, some art formed tributes those loved ones lost due to Covid-19.  These art works will be a lasting reminder of a challenging time for many.

Melanie Wotton, Arts in Health Project Manager and Curator said: “During the past year, art has played a huge part in the nation’s emotional health and wellbeing, giving artists an outlet for emotions and feelings.  Participating in and creating art has been a beacon of hope for better times ahead.

I’d like to thank the artists who have kindly created and donated art, contributed art work and worked alongside Cardiff & Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing to make environments brighter for our patients and staff during this period.

Here is just a small selection of the art displayed during the pandemic across healthcare settings throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Damien Hurst – Butterfly RainbowLaminated giclee print on aluminium composite panel

In May 2020, Damien Hirst created Butterfly Rainbow to show support for the NHS in the Coronavirus crisis. The work is made up of bands of coloured butterfly wings, one of the artist’s best‐known motifs. A limited edition of the work was produced with all profits donated to NHS Charities Together, raising a total of £1,508,172.

Jacqueline Alkema – Women’s Portraiture

Much respected and admired Cardiff Artist, Jacqueline Alkema, has kindly donated four paintings to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

The paintings were created during the Covid-19 pandemic and are a response to the wonderful care and support Jacqueline received while a patient at University Hospital Llandough.

Elisabeth CharlesYsbyty Calon Y DdraigCross Stitch 

Seeing the amazing work carried out to open Ysbyty Calon Y Ddraig, and with Welsh ties running strong through the family (Libby’s husband’s family are Welsh and Louise lives and works in South Wales with her family), there just had to be a dragon involved! The NHS runs through Libby’s blood, she, and many members of her family worked, and continue to work in healthcare, so, the desire to show their thanks was even greater.  

The cross stitch is a token of the family’s immense gratitude to the NHS.  Hopefully it provides some joy and light for others in what has been a very difficult time.

Malcolm Murphy – Landscape of the Cardiff Street Orchestra Playing in Tribute to the NHS 9th April 2020 – Oil painting on board

This painting has been kindly donated by Malcolm to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

 Malcolm was born and resides in Splott, Cardiff.  He is well known locally for his depictions in oil paint of Cardiff streets. Malcolm usually paints on wet days, allowing him to take advantage of the mirroring reflections from glossy, glassy puddles and pavements.

Malcolm was approached with an idea by his friend Alan Bretos, who felt this scene was perfect for Murphy’s style of Cardiff Street Scenes. The painting depicts Robert Plane and his neighbours playing their instruments outside their houses in Pontcanna Cardiff in Tribute to the NHS at 8pm on Thursday 9th April.

Malcolm and Alan kindly started a JustGiving page raising money for Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, raising over £170 for the Arts for Health and Wellbeing programme to be able to continue to improve the lives of patients, staff and visitors through the creative arts.

Thank you to Pygmalion Picture Framing Services for the framing donation of the painting.  To View more of Malcolm’s art please visit www.malcolmmurphyartist.com

Tara (Taz) Fear – Male Nurse, Female Nurse, Pharmacy and Health Hero – Digital sketches

Taz’s artwork varies in styles, mediums and textures but during lockdown she predominantly become focused on digital illustration artwork drawn by hand via an Apple Pencil. 

These works focused on key workers during Covid-19 especially those within medicine. Some of her work is in remembrance to those who lost their lives to Covid-19 while trying to save others. For example, the artwork with the surgeon in glasses with the heart and words “hero” was in tribute to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s leading heart surgeon “Mr Rathod” (known to colleagues and friends as ‘Jitu’). 

Furthermore, much of her Covid-19 artwork was commissioned but not charged for, as a way to help boost morale and shine light on the importance of key workers, as well as showing diversity of those who are on the frontline. 

Tara’s artworks were printed and displayed across Cardiff and Vale University Health Board sites during Covid-19.

Manon Bradbeer  – UnitedAcrylic on Canvas

This painting has been kindly donated by young artist Manon to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

With her Art GCSE exam cancelled, Manon Bradbeer a pupil of St John Baptist High School in Aberdare, decided to use her already prepared canvas to create something new. Manon has called this painting ‘United’, to represent how ‘we are all in this together’.

Rita P – Hakuna Matata and Sunset on African Savannah at Maasai MaraAcrylic paintings on canvas boards

Both paintings were kindly donated by Rita to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  Rita has always had a passion for painting, but apart from doing the odd painting here and there, she had never thought of painting to inspire others.  However, with the recent events negatively impacting her wellbeing, her anxiety and depression symptoms started to get worse and the thought of painting to bring a smile to others inspired her to start painting more.

The first painting she called “Hakuna Matata”, meaning no problem in Swahili, as Kenya is her place of birth. After sharing this painting on social media and with her work colleagues, Rita received a lot of positive comments which motivated her to paint more. She then decided she wanted to paint something for the NHS staff, to bring a smile to their faces, as they had been doing an incredible job.

Rita hopes that this will inspire those who may be feeling the same way as her, to also do something they’ve always wanted to do. And also encourage them to reach out to people to talk about how they are feeling, knowing they are not on their own and that things will get better.  Let’s bring a smile.

Steve Devlin – You’ll Never Walk Alone – Oil on Canvas

This painting was kindly donated by Steve to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  You’ll never walk alone was born from a vision and recorded in oil on canvas in 2015. It speaks of the heavenly love of a Father, who leads, protects and guides us, His children on Earth.

Steve and wife Noori, who is a chaplaincy volunteer at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, have kindly donated this painting to bring comfort, hope and support to all affected during this time of Covid-19.

Conor Elliott  – Rainbows

Conor Elliott is a talented Photographer based in Cardiff.  During lockdown, he wanted to do something to capture the sense of community spirit and appreciation of NHS workers.

Over the course of three months, from March to June 2020, Conor walked the streets of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan photographing the artworks that local residents proudly displayed in their windows in support of the NHS.

Conor decided to bring the images together in the form of colourful mosaics.  The large mosaics which are displayed across hospital sites are made from hundreds of rainbows and other supportive messages for NHS staff which were displayed in windows throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

To find out more about how you can support Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing please visit: http://www.cardiffandvale.art

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