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Artwork celebrating our frontline heroes to be auctioned off for charity

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Published on 28 May 2021

Hilary Anderson and Robert Winter
Hilary Anderson and Robert Winter

“A sense of positivity and togetherness” – that is the message one local artist is hoping to convey in her latest piece, which celebrates the hard work of our nurses and care professionals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hilary Anderson wanted to portray a snapshot of local history through her own perspective of the pandemic, in which clapping for carers was very much a part of the lockdown experience and captured the feelings of the nation.

Hilary’s partner Robert Winter, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland, lost his father to Covid-19 last year.

“My father was admitted to hospital after a fall at home,” Robert explained.

“He unfortunately contracted the virus in hospital and later died in a care home. Like most people, we were only able to see him and say our last goodbyes through a window.

“Although he was 93, the circumstances of this had a huge impact on our family, particularly as he died during the first wave when we didn’t completely have a full understanding of the virus.”

Robert’s mother and two of his father’s friends have been included in Hilary’s artwork.

Robert added: “I think the image is a reflective piece, which, like all of Hilary’s artworks, brings a sense of positivity and togetherness. My family and friends are very proud to be part of the project.”

Hilary, who runs homewares business Labour of Love Design, is selling the original artwork to raise money for Live Well With Cancer, a charity set up by Maureen Elliott, a nurse at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Hilary, from Newcastle, said: “As I began to develop the artwork, I soon realised that all of the characters needed to be authentic with real stories and connections to the NHS.

“Maureen and her colleague Amy in the foreground, are both Macmillan nurses at the Freeman Hospital.

“The girl celebrating with the trumpet is the daughter of a University of Sunderland colleague and friend, who is a breast cancer survivor.

“In the background, there is a group of three characters - the wife and friends of Robert’s father Douglas Winter, who died of Covid.

“Both Robert and I hope to raise as much money as we can for Maureen’s charity, Live Well with Cancer, but we also hope that the artwork brings inspiration to a new generation of nursing professionals.”

Anyone interested in making a bid for the artwork should email labouroflovehello@gmail.com