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Attleborough doctor's artwork on display in corridors of NNUH

Artwork created by an emergency department GP has been given pride of place on walls within the hospital where she works.

Dr Kate Grant, who lives in Attleborough and works at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, painted pictures of colleagues as they worked at the hospital during the pandemic.

Asked about the decision to display them in the hospital, she said: “There is an environmental arts project at the hospital, which has been in place for years, where they decorate the corridors with art.

Dr Grant with some of her works
Dr Grant with some of her works

“They didn’t have a current exhibition so some of my colleagues talked me in to putting mine up.”

Dr Grant’s acrylic paintings now occupy 10 display cabinets between the main atrium and the accident and emergency corridor.

The portraits were all produced from photos taken of her colleagues at work.

The 48-year-old said: “Now we’re wearing masks and protective equipment, even I don’t recognise colleagues sometimes and we all become a little bit anonymous.

“So it’s lovely to be able to put a bit of life back in to the corridors. Acrylic is just so bright and vivid. I love that for the portrait work and it’s a lovely, fast medium.

“I chose to paint colleagues at work because I love storytelling. I haven’t bought a school portrait of my children since they were about five or six because those seem so stale.

“I just really like a picture where you have to think about what the person is doing.”

She added: “I was deeply moved by the dedication and commitment of my colleagues and wanted to capture the impact that the pandemic has had on them.

“These are also extraordinary times and I believe they need to be recorded. I am really honoured that the paintings will be displayed in the hospital.”

The 22 pieces of artwork are inspired by various scenes in which hospital staff are caring for patients, including plaster casting a broken leg, suturing a wound and inputting data into a computer.

Lynn Clarke, a healthcare assistant who helped get the project off the ground, said: “The paintings are just fantastic. If you compare them with the original photographs, you can really see that Kate has captured the moment perfectly.”

Emma Jarvis, environmental arts manager, said: “They are just beautiful. Kate has captured the character and resilience of staff who carried on working in extreme conditions.”

Dr Grant described the exhibition as “a very personal tribute to these individual people – the things we say to each other, the laughter that we share and the enjoyment of our friendship as we get on with our professional lives”.

Dividing her time between general practice and the emergency department, she formerly studied at the University of Dundee, and completed GP training in Aberdeen.

During that time, she sketched in the anatomy lab, painted on the Isle of Lewis and took life drawing classes.

She has also taken a botanical illustration course, had her work displayed in an exhibition at Stellers Gallery in Florida and has contributed art to the Cambridge Pint of Science Festival each year since 2016.

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