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Portrait ‘sums up commitment of nurses’ during COVID-19 pandemic

Emergency nurse says painting of her in full PPE captures experience for many in first wave
Picture shows the painting of emergency nurse Kate Hunt by her husband Andrew

Emergency nurse says painting of her in full PPE captures experience for many during first wave

An emergency nurse who is the subject of a striking painting says the image sums up the commitment of all nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency nurse practitioner Kate Hunt, who works at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, was painted by her husband Andrew during the first peak of the pandemic. The image shows her in full personal protection equipment (PPE), including visor, mask and apron.

Captures nurses fear,

Emergency nurse says painting of her in full PPE captures experience for many during first wave

Picture shows the painting of emergency nurse Kate Hunt by her husband Andrew
The painting of nurse Kate Hunt by her husband Andrew Image: Andrew Hunt

An emergency nurse who is the subject of a striking painting says the image sums up the commitment of all nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency nurse practitioner Kate Hunt, who works at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, was painted by her husband Andrew during the first peak of the pandemic. The image shows her in full personal protection equipment (PPE), including visor, mask and apron.

Captures nurses ‘fear, pride, commitment, determination to do our best’

Ms Hunt said her husband Andrew, a professional artist, was keen to document an extraordinary period in the lives of their family and the nation. ‘I probably agreed to it because I would never have a portrait done unless I was covered in a mask,’ she joked.

The striking 70cm by 70cm, oil on canvas painting took Mr Hunt around a month to complete, while also keeping up with their children's home schooling.

It captures some of what nurses experienced as they grappled with the first wave of the virus. ‘That first peak – it was almost like an electric atmosphere at work – we were really frightened, but the camaraderie was amazing,’ said Ms Hunt. ‘As a nurse practitioner I had stepped back from A&E, but we all just threw ourselves back into what we would call shop floor A&E.

Andrew and Kate Hunt

‘There is a lot of emotion there – fear, pride, commitment, determination to do our best and an amazing team spirit.’

Second wave was even more difficult

She said the second wave of the virus was perhaps even more difficult because staff were ‘a bit jaded and tired’.

The painting currently hangs in the family’s dining room but they would love to see it on public display. Ms Hunt said: ‘I have fallen in love with it. Somebody did want to buy, but I had to say “I can’t sell it” because it is so special to us as a family.’


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