As the pandemic raged, artist Tom Croft wanted to find a way to honour NHS staff. Soon 500 painters had joined him to tell stories from the frontline
Tom Croft normally paints with the radio on. But when coronavirus swept through the UK this spring, the 50-year-old artist from Oxford found he couldn’t paint any more. “I was listening to rolling news, of things getting bleaker and bleaker, and I just ground to a halt,” he says.
A chance encounter with a doctor friend in April made him acutely aware of the pressures healthcare workers were under. “I asked him how he was doing, and he was too tired to answer. He said, ‘You don’t want to know.’”