An ideal present

Posted: 27th November 2020

‘Portraits for NHS Heroes’.

Are you one of those organised people who have written their Christmas cards by 1st October and did your present buying last January?  If so, look away now.  This Christmas present suggestion is for those of you who haven’t bought their cards yet and are still wondering what presents their loved ones would like to find under this year’s Christmas tree.

We have the solution!  A present that encapsulates the events of this year and shows support for the NHS, a body of people and an organisation who contribute so much to so many.

Ms Eng, who, in addition to being our Head of Art is also an artist, has contributed to a newly-published book “Portraits for NHS Heroes”.

Ms Eng writes, ‘During the first lockdown, you may have heard of the global ‘Portraits for NHS Heroes’ project begun by Oxford painter Tom Croft, where tens of thousands of artists created free portraits for NHS staff as a means of showing support.

I was one of the artists and, since then, one of my pieces has been selected to be in the official book, which is being sold to raise money for the NHS. Getting to know some amazing frontline workers and carving out an hour or three to make artwork for them was a source of inspiration, and makes getting published particularly special this year.

Ms Eng is on page 145!

“Portraits for NHS Heroes” showcases all manner of portraits and stories, (about 300), including painting, sculpture and ceramics, and features some renowned artists such as Alastair Adams and Mary Jane Ansell, and a foreword by Michael Rosen.

If you are interested or know someone who might like the book, more information and the link to buy is here – The book is not for profit, and part of the proceeds are going towards NHS Charities Together (registered charity no 1186569) to fund vital projects.  If you find that the book is sold out on the Bloomsbury website, then one can buy it on Amazon and part of the proceeds still go to the NHS.  I’m hoping that the product of the first lockdown can raise money during the second!’

Ms Eng produced five portraits for the project, of which the image directly below was the one published:

Dr Bose, a retired GP who went back into practice, 210 x 280 mm, charcoal on cartridge paper, Cai Jia Eng, 2020

read his story here

Other portraits produced for the project by Ms Eng are:

Chantelle, a Sister in Blackburn, 210 x 280 mm, pastel and palette knife, Cai Jia Eng, 2020

read her story here


Dr Pamela McGuinn, a GP in Edinburgh, 210 x 280 mm, coloured pencil on cartridge paper, Cai Jia Eng, 2020

read her story here

Ben, a GP in East London, 210 x 280 mm, pastel on cartridge paper, Cai Jia Eng, 2020

read his story here

Priya, a Sister in an ICU, 210 x 280 mm, charcoal on cartridge paper, Cai Jia Eng, 2020

read her story here


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