Nathan Wyburn is an innovative Welsh artist who uses his love of art to connect with people and communities by creating paintings with a strong message from a variety of materials that have caught the public’s imagination.
Originally from Ebbw Vale, Nathan shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent by painting a portrait of Simon Cowell using marmite. Since then, Nathan has developed a career as a contemporary artist, whilst helping to inspire young people by teaching art in schools, as well carrying out charity work.
Nathan has worked with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Arts for Health and Wellbeing and Cardiff & Vale Health Charity for a number of years. During this time Nathan as created many art works, such as a coffee portrait of Aneurin Bevan, a portrait of Gareth Thomas in red paint, and a collage Florence Nightingale created from photos of nurses.
Recently, his portrait of a nurse in full PPE created out of tiny images of health workers has become one of the iconic images of the Covid-19 pandemic, not just in the UK but all over the world. The image has also been hung all over the UK and at field hospitals including the Dragon’s Heart Hospital at The Principality Stadium and Nathan also used the image to raise money for Cardiff & Vale Health charity.
Nathan also recently created Words Bruise, an evocative portrait of a man with a bruised face from wearing PPE, which is displayed at Wales Millennium Centre. Words Bruise is made up of negative words and phrases used on social media that had been directed at NHS staff from throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan during the pandemic.
Through his art, Nathan has communicated strong messages whilst raising the profile of Wales internationally.
Nathan’s art touched the lives of many – here is a message from Kimberly Taylor, a Doctor from Alta Vista, Virginia in the USA.
Kim said: “Last year, as I was working front lines of Covid here in the USA beginning on 13th March, I came across a talented artist Nathan Wyburn.”
“I reached out to him after seeing Nathan on Live with Kelly and Ryan and I asked him about commissioning a painting to be able to remember this period of time.”
“In all my years of practicing medicine here in USA, my face never had bruises from wearing shields and masks but it was common back in March 2020 to see all of our team with bruises on their faces from masks. I sent Nathan photos and he delivered a true masterpiece that proudly hangs in our medical practice.”
“It became the norm to start each day by putting Nathan’s work up on the big screen we had placed here in the ER. Nathan’s paintings gave us all hope.”
Simone Joslyn, Head of Arts and Health Charity at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “We are very lucky to have Nathan as a Patron of our Health Charity. Nathan has worked alongside Cardiff & Vale Health Charity and Arts for Health and Wellbeing for many years. He has contributed art, fundraised and been an outstanding Patron for our charity. His art has been such a support to our staff during the past year – we can’t thank him enough for his valued contributions.”
Nathan has also released his book 2020 Diary of Nathan Wyburn in collaboration with Cardiff & Vale Health Charity. The visual diary displays how the Welsh artist used his pop culture art to document and reflect the times whilst boosting morale during the first twelve months of the pandemic.
Amongst portraits of celebrities and well-known faces, included in the book are several of Nathan’s commissions for Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, from coffee tributes to hang in Barry Hospital, to his renowned ‘NHS Thank You’ portrait collaged from images of Health Board staff; Nathan has aided the Arts for Health and Wellbeing Team to demonstrate the positive impact of art.
Nathan said: “I’m extremely thrilled to be releasing this book based on my work over the past twelve months. Art of all kinds, is more important now than ever, for our wellbeing and for hope. Being a patron for Cardiff & Vale Health Charity is something I’m undeniably proud of – so all proceeds from the sale of this book, my 3rd collection of work, will go direct to them. I hope the book doesn’t just provide reflection, but education, good and thoughtful memories, along with a much needed smile.”
All profits from the sale of the book will benefit Cardiff & Vale Health Charity and it can be purchased through the link below.