Coronavirus: Leicestershire artist paints portraits for 'NHS heroes'

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image copyrightLisa Timmerman
image captionStacie is a paediatric nurse working on a children's ward at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, Cheshire

A Leicestershire artist is painting 20 portraits of NHS workers.

Lisa Timmerman, who paints from her home in Foxton, Market Harborough, was inspired by artist Tom Croft who started the initiative with the #portraitsfornhsheroes on Instagram.

The 56-year-old picked the number to reflect the year of the pandemic and will be donating the paintings to the subjects.

image copyrightLisa Timmerman
image caption"Ruth nurse", usually a day surgery nurse, is currently working in intensive care at Pennine Acute Hospital, in Greater Manchester, during the coronavirus crisis

The artist said she was "honoured" to paint 'Ruth nurse', "caught in a moment with so much action behind her".

"The more I painted the more I saw how many layers of protection 'Ruth nurse' was wearing - I'm full of admiration," she said.

image copyrightLisa Timmerman

Ms Timmerman, who usually paints images of nature, said the initiative "encouraged me to do more portraits".

"I try to capture their experience of Covid or they might want a happy picture," she said.

"It's emotional but I'm enjoying it."

image copyrightLisa Timmerman

Ms Timmerman said two photographs were used for the portrait of Sylvia Goddard, above, an intensive care nurse at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Ms Goddard said: "I got really emotional because it was one of my first shifts on the Covid ward.

"I had this tight mask on and after a few hours it left marks on my face. It'll be a memory stuck with me for the rest of my life."

image copyrightLisa Timmerman

Ms Timmerman said Abbie, a first-time mother, had to attend the baby's scans without her husband due to the restrictions.

Abbie, a neonatal nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary, said: "Covid-19 represents a time where I had to battle with my internal mother instincts to keep my own child safe whilst having my moral compass guiding me to care for other mummy and daddy's babies."

image copyrightLisa Timmerman
image captionVanessa, a midwife at Queen's Hospital, in Romford, Essex, is pictured with her daughter Ariella

Ms Timmerman said there was "so much love" in the faces of Vanessa and her daughter Ariella, "so I wanted to paint them without any reference to the pandemic".

The artist, who is on her seventh portrait, hopes to exhibit all 20 in the future.

image copyrightLisa Timmerman
image captionChris Brightling, a professor of respiratory medicine at Leicester Hospitals, is working on a research trial for Covid-19 treatment

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