School marks lockdown easing with poignant project

St Mary’s School marks lockdown easing with poignant ‘Portraits of a Pandemic’ project

St Mary’s School marks lockdown easing with poignant ‘Portraits of a Pandemic’ project - Credit: St Mary’s School Cambridge

A Cambridgeshire school has created a collection of poignant portraits that capture its staff and NHS workers in the personal protective equipment (PPE) they have been wearing throughout the pandemic.

Designed to celebrate key workers, the ‘Portraits Preserving Experiences (PPE) in Lockdown’ project was inspired by UK portraiture artist Thomas Croft and his famous ‘Portrait for NHS Heroes’ paintings.

The project started with Ms Conroy, head of the school's visual arts department, taking socially distanced portrait photographs of each subject and then developing them with digital drawing techniques.

Each photograph was manipulated and drawn using filters and a stylus that allowed Ms Conroy to draw on  a computer as if it were paper.

Year 13 students at St Mary’s then worked in traditional media creating their own artistic responses to the digital portraits, which will also be on show at the exhibition.

The 74 images have been unveiled in an online gallery on the St Mary’s School, Cambridge website.


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A private viewing of the portraits will also take place on June 24.

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