Bloomsbury Caravel, in partnership with NHS Charities Together, is publishing Portraits for NHS Heroes this November after the success of artist Tom Croft’s #PortraitsForNHSHeroes project.
When the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, artist Tom Croft offered to paint an NHS key worker’s portrait for free. His portrait of Harriet Durkin, a nurse at the Manchester Royal Infirmary who had recently recovered from Covid-19, was the first in what became a global art project. Since then, Croft and thousands of other artists have captured in portraits the frontline workers who were risking their health in support of others' wellbeing, collated online using the hashtag #PortraitsForNHSHeroes.
The book will showcase a selection of some of the 13,000 the images posted, including work by leading artists such as Alastair Adams and Mary Jane Ansell. The intention is it will be "a powerful visual tribute to the individuals who have put their physical and mental health on the line during the Covid-19 crisis".
Bloomsbury Caravel is publishing the book in partnership with NHS Charities Together, which exists for the benefit of current and future NHS staff, patients and their families by providing things that are over and above what core NHS funding can provide. All royalties from the book will go to NHS Charities Together to fund vital projects. A minimum of £2.50 from the sale of each book will be paid to NHS Charities Together.
Portraits for NHS Heroes publishes in hardback on 12th November this year.
Croft commented: "I am so delighted to be working with Bloomsbury to produce this celebration of just some of the NHS portraits that have been produced. With all royalties to go to NHS Charities Together, this is the first physical collection of the portraits and the first chance to raise money too. I'm extremely grateful to all the artists who took part in #PortraitsForNHSHeroes and of course to all the NHS workers for allowing us to share their images and tell their stories."
Clare Martelli, commissioning editor, said: "It has been a huge privilege to work with Tom on such an inspiring project. Captured in these remarkable portraits is a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our NHS workers, showing the pressure and exhaustion but also the determination and positive spirit they have demonstrated. We hope that the book will serve as an important visual tribute to the individuals who have put their physical and mental health on the line during the Covid-19 crisis. We are grateful to them and the artists who have devoted their time."