A receptionist working on an intensive care ward through the pandemic has drawn more than a dozen portraits of her colleagues – to create a ‘heroes gallery’.
Talented Jane Godden, 57, has pencilled a total of 14 doctors, nurses and support staff on the ICU after being left “in awe” at the work they have done since March last year.
Her detailed work is designed to help put a “face behind the mask” and now has pride of place on the wall of the foyer at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
Mum-of-three Jane has watched on as her colleagues worked themselves to the brink to care for patients needing critical care.
And she said she wanted to capture what she described as a moment of ‘modern history’.
Included in her gallery so far are staff from nurses to consultants, doctors, physiotherapists and porters.
Each piece will eventually be given to the person in the picture once the pandemic is over but for now are on show at reception with more being created all the time.
Jane said: “I saw some artists drawing people on the front line. It occurred to me that as a receptionist in ICU, who can draw and has seen it all first hand, why don’t I do that.
“You do see a lot and I just wanted to show my appreciation to the nurses, doctors and other staff on the ward for everything they have been doing.
“The hospital really liked them and wanted to put them up in the foyer. It is to show how wonderful staff have been – they really have been incredible.
“It is the worst currently it has ever been. I have been on ICU for three and a half years and all the staff know everyone.
“I have now done 14 in total and it is there to remind everyone of the people behind the mask. They often don’t see them as they are not allowed in that area through various restrictions but they deserve all the recognition they can get.
“I am immensely proud of all of them. When you see nurses who have been in PPE take masks off and see the redness across their noses and cheeks you see how they are suffering.
“But they are still smiling. They have done an incredible job and I stand in awe of them.
“This wave has been a lot worse than the first. You see people tired from the end of the first wave and when there was talk of a second one some said they were not sure they could do this again. You just don’t realise, the pressure has been non stop since last year.”
Jane said she takes pictures of colleagues in PPE and then develops the sketches, drawn with colour pencils, from there.
She created the art from a bespoke shed in the bottom of her garden at her home at Alveston, South Glos.
Jane added: “I just took my phone and took pictures when they were getting ready to go into Covid pods so I could then draw them.
“I would pencil in the outline and then finish it back home. A couple that I drew also got engaged during the pandemic.
“The first one I drew was a junior doctor and when I showed him he was super excited and phoned his mum straight away and got a picture of him holding it.
“It’s been hard for us to see. On the reception we speak to a lot of the relatives on the phone and became a sounding block for the people that can’t come in.
“But doing this was a way for me to recognise the effort and you can no underestimate how much of an effort that has been.
“It is difficult for people not seeing it to understand. But I get completely mad when I read of these conspiracy theories when I have seen what I have seen.
“People have been ignoring the lockdown this time. It seems completely different to last time and I just urge people from the bottom of my heard to please follow the rules.”