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Southwell artist paints portraits of hero keyworkers

Posted onPosted on 9th Jul

Two Ollerton police officers feature in a well-known Southwell artist’s work depicting key workers.

Sarah Flanagan, who has been shielding at home since the start of the coronavirus lockdown because of her health and that of her husband, has concentrated on key workers for her work.

Sarah, whose work is renowned internationally, began a project called Portraits from an Artist in Isolation (Real People Real Heroes).

Sarah has completed 22 paintings of key workers, which include police officers, nurses, doctors and paramedics and is aiming to complete 50 in total. They include Pc Deborah Bakin and PCSO Richard Dunn, from the Ollerton Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Sarah said: “My inspiration has been fed to me via social media and mainstream media. I wanted to do something, I can paint, but my art business is on hold for the duration.

“My project is to try to tell the story of key-workers, all of whom are wearing their PPE, via the medium of paint and in the form of portraits.

“It has been very emotional for me to see (willing) participants send me their photographs, how the PPE obscures their faces as they attempt to protects both themselves and the person they are dealing with from the virus.

“I have painted them in a literal, contemporary way echoing the illustrative field of the cartoon and comic which so often contain our accepted interpretation of superheroes, these people are the true heroes.

“I want to represent as many key-workers from as many fields as I can and therefore want to make it special for them so that they can feel the appreciation that they are receiving and thoroughly deserve.”

Pc Bakin said herself and PCSO Dunn were delighted to have been asked to feature in the project.

“Sarah’s work is absolutely beautiful and it was an honour to be asked to take part and represent our policing colleagues,” she said.

“This has been such a strange time which will be going down in history, so it’s poignant to have it documented in art form.

“To us we have just been going about our jobs but Sarah really recognised that many key workers have put themselves at risk in order to help others and keep the country going.”

Sarah doesn’t want to make a profit from the work but would like to be able to showcase the pieces so people can appreciate what the key workers have gone through and who was making the country tick during the outbreak. She also wants it to document the historical event from the key workers perspective.

You can see more of Sarah’s work at Sarah Flanagan Art on Facebook.