Collage, ink and crayon on paper
h: 28 w: 28 d: 2 (cms).
This is a portrait made in collage of Amanda, a phlebotomist on the frontline who works across all the Covid wards at South Tyneside District Hospital.
I was contacted by Holly (Amanda’s daughter) via #portraitsfornhsheroes, an Instagram site which was set up by the artist Tom Croft. Holly asked me to make a portrait of her mum as a surprise. I made a few versions of the portrait and it is possibly the only portrait I will ever do of someone wearing a mask and a helmet! It is really a portrait of a pair of eyes – the eyes needed to express as much as possible about the whole person. It was a tall order and a unique challenge.
Acrylic on canvas
h: 180 w: 180 d: 4 (cms).
The dreamlike person in the painting with the sea behind her is my mother in her paisley wedding dress. After my mother died I painted this figure emerging from the waves as a kind of memorial and celebration of my mother's life. It evokes also of some of my happiest childhood memories of holidays spent in the Southwest.
The seagull in the painting is there because Chekhov's play 'The Seagull' was my mother’s favourite play and because seagulls are so very much a feature of the Cornish coastline and of all holidays in the British Isles.
My mother really was married in a paisley wedding dress (which she made herself) and I took much care and pleasure in painting the swirls and leaf-like shapes of the design on the fabric. I wanted the hem of the dress to look as if it was disintegrating or disappearing into or coming out of the water, suggesting that the figure was part ghost, part imagined and part real.