'A beacon of light' - NHS heroes honoured with portrait display

An oil painting of a staff nurse from James Paget University Hospital. She is wearing blue scrubs and has a dust mask on.

Kim Hall, a staff nurse from James Paget University Hospital, had her portrait painted by Andrew Dibben as part of #PortraitsForNHSHeroes. - Credit: Andrew Dibben

A Great Yarmouth art gallery is showing off dedicated NHS portraits by local artists.

The display is part of Primeyarc's 'These are the Hands' exhibit and is directly opposite the vaccination centre in town.

Located opposite the new NHS vaccination centre, the tribute is to promote positivity and give thanks to frontline workers.

Nine prints of oil paintings on a white display.

Portraits by Andrew Dibben currently on display at Primeyarc, Market Gates. - Credit: James Weeds

The exhibit contains work by local artists, Antony Bagley, Kyle Ball and Andrew Dibben.

Mr Bagley commented: "I feel honoured to be a part of an exhibition for the Portraits for NHS heroes.

"In a year of unpredictability, heartache and fear, the staff who were working tirelessly on the front line to battle this disease have been a true beacon of light and inspiration for the nation.

Artist Antony Bagley wearing a baseball cap and a hoody.

Great Yarmouth-based artist Antony Bagley was inspired by NHS workers over the past year. - Credit: Antony Bagley

"It is my way to say thank you for all the amazing work that our NHS staff do, and to highlight the individuals and show the admiration and respect they fully deserve."

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Mr Ball said: "It's great to see [the NHS workers] getting the recognition they deserve."

Mr Dibben commented: "In April last year, I noticed a piece on the main evening television news, about a portrait painter called Tom Croft. He was setting up an initiative to thank our hard-pressed NHS workers by painting a portrait of as many as possible of them, as a thank you gift."

Andrew Dibben in front of a book shelf.

Andrew Dibben was inspired by Tom Croft's #PortraitsForNHSHeroes campaign. - Credit: Andrew Dibben

Primeyarc's manager, Kaavous Clayton said: "We were very excited to hear that the vaccination centre was opening just opposite the gallery.

"We wanted to acknowledge the work that all the NHS staff have done over the past year. Which has been very traumatic for many of them, I'm sure.

Kyle Ball smiling besides his two portraits of Healthcare Assistants from JPUH

Kyle Ball at Primeyarc with his two portraits as part of #PortraitsForNHSHeroes, which are currently on display - Credit: James Weeds

Mr Clayton continued: "We knew that there was already a campaign to make portraits of NHS staff and knew Andrew had done some, and as his [previous] exhibition had been cut short a couple of times by lockdowns, this was a good way of showing his work as well as supporting the work of local artists.

"If anyone else has any portraits of NHS staff that they have produced and would like contribute, we'd love to hear from you."