Portrait of Fife health workers unveiled at hospital to mark anniversary of pandemic

A portrait to thank Fife’s pandemic frontline health workers has been unveiled at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 8:44 am

It was painted by Alan Stephens to mark their efforts caring for local people over the past 12 months.

It has gone on display within the main thoroughfare leading to the hospital’s in-patient wards in time to mark a year since the initial lockdown last March.

Mr Stephens, a St Andrews-based, artist approached NHS Fife at the height of the pandemic.

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Portrait of NHS Fife health workers which is on display the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy - painted by Alan Stephens, from St Andrews

He said: “My hope was that by painting a portrait of healthcare staff working on the frontline, goes some way to acknowledge their efforts and perhaps leave a lasting legacy for years to come.

Lockdown restrictions meant Mr Stephens had to alter his usual way of working - and use photographs instead of sittings to adhere to social distancing.

He explained: “In ordinary circumstances, I would have created the piece with the subjects in front of me, and using photographs brought it’s own challenges.

Alan Stephens, from St Andrews, works on his portrait of NHS Fife health workers which is on display the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy

One of the staff featured in the artwork, senior immunisation practitioner, Amanda Kowbel, is delighted with the end result.

She said: “I think it’s a great representation of how the pandemic has affected each and every discipline within NHS Fife, and despite the challenges we have kept going.

“I am really proud to be able to represent my own team, and each one of us proudly puts our uniform on each day and gives our very best in whatever way we are needed.

“Our service has changed entirely in the past 12 months but we stepped up and made sure the children and young people in Fife continued to receive the very best care. When the COVID-19 vaccine became available, we went into care homes to vaccinate the most vulnerable in our society.

“I hope that the next generation will look at the painting and see that it shows the professionalism exhibited by the staff during the crisis and want to join us.

As the painting was unveiled, Carol Potter, NHS Fife chief executive, said: “It is incredible, and really captures the very challenging circumstances faced by our staff in caring for the Kingdom’s residents over the last year.”

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