Hero of the Moment 19th June 2020

June 19, 2020

We’re big advocates of talented artists here at Weird Fish, so our next Hero of the Moment is right up our street (or canvas)!

Oxford artist Tom Croft is a classically trained portrait painter with an impressive portfolio up his sleeve – from producing artwork for Manchester United Football Club, to creating incredible renditions of the likes of author Mark Haddon and Radiohead bass player Colin Greenwood.

When lockdown began, Tom decided to use his talents to pay tribute to the many NHS workers across the country who had been called to the front line. To kick things off, he called out to his Instagram followers, offering a free portrait to the first NHS worker to contact him via the platform.

Harriet Durkin, an A&E nurse from Manchester, was the first to reply to Tom’s offer as she was preparing to return to work, after contracting and subsequently recovering from COVID-19. Moved by Harriet’s story, Tom pictured her wearing PPE gear to highlight her commitment to providing care for others on a daily basis.

Harriet portrait sparked a wave of support from other artists, who were inspired to pick up their paintbrushes for the cause. Since his first portrait went viral, Tom has paired up thousands of artists with NHS workers all over the world, including Belgium, Spain, America and Poland (to name a few!). Tom hopes to create an exhibition of all the amazing artwork when COVID has passed.

Now that’s what we call large ‘scale’ creativity – a huge kudos to Tom for all his brilliant work so far! You can follow the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes to see more of the inspiring work across social media.

tom croft - harriet durkin portrait.jpg
Harriet Durkin by Tom Croft