Torbay artist’s Portrait for NHS Heroes

Artist Julie Hogarth-Jones with her portrait

Artist Julie Hogarth-Jones with her portrait - Credit: Archant

Torbay portrait artist Julie Hogarth-Jones has been recognised for her talent by inclusion in an online exhibition of Portraits for NHS Heroes.

Created by artist Tom Croft, the exhibition evolved from an original idea to offer free portraits for NHS frontline workers as a small thank you for their work through the pandemic and also a creative way of recording this period in history.

After posting the idea on Instagram, the overwhelming response has seen the concept reach national recognition, and a special achievement for Julie to be included among the chosen artists.

“I knew straightaway that this was something I wanted to get involved with,” she said. “I posted the offer on my Instagram account and was amazed when I was contacted within a couple of minutes.

“Barry Clarke, a staff nurse from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary nominated Roberto, a respiratory doctor, working on the Covid ward. Barry described Roberto as amazing, saying he has been on the ward educating staff on respiratory care, saving lives and is outstanding with patient care.

“When I looked at the photographs I was struck by Roberto’s eyes. He looked tired but compassionate and I realised that, due to the PPE, this would be a patient’s only point of contact with him. If I was ill, I would have felt some reassurance looking into those eyes.”

Julie, who was born in Paignton and studied art at Churston Ferrers Grammar School, worked as a PA and legal executive with local law firm Hooper & Wollen before leaving to become a full-time mum to her two children.

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The passion for art never left, however, stemming from the influence of her dad, a landscape artist.

“I have always been fascinated by portraits and I am so thrilled to be part of such a wonderful initiative,” said Julie. “I have kept drawing and painting over the years and I am now a professional artist.”

The exhibition can be viewed by visiting www.thenetgallery.com/portraits-for-nhs-heroes and there will be a real world version at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.