Minster friends team up to create ‘coronavirus’ art piece

The coronavirus art piece by Thomas and Frances

An interior designer and a HGV driver, both from Minster, have teamed up to create a piece of artwork representing the impact of coronavirus.

Former soldier Thomas Hay, 31, and business owner Frances Stone, 22, have designed a face mask that is mounted onto a glass head made from 100% recycled glass. They say this represents transparency, eco and the dramatic change the virus has had on our climate.

The mask is royal blue and embroidered with gold plate on the front. On the back it is hessian – representing the tremendous cost the virus has had globally, and that the virus doesn’t discriminate between rich or poor. The piece will be displayed inside a glass cube as a representation of isolation.

Dad-of-one Thomas said: “The idea for this piece came to me while at work driving, just the enormity of the situation and everything that was happening so quickly and the huge change we’re all going through.

“I was taking to Frances and the ball started rolling immediately, We were both throwing ideas back and forth and coming up with plans what we could make that would capture the pandemic. It was a very exciting time mutually and it gave us something to focus on.

“We think a mixture of what we were feeling about the situation aided and drove us to make the idea come to life, We wanted to make something bold but beautiful, something that could be interpreted by different people in different ways that have gone through different experiences due to the pandemic.

“We find that aspect of art fascinating.”

Thomas, who spent five years in the Army with postings t Germany and a tour of Afghanistan, says he particularly likes the ‘military look’mask colours.

Frances, who studied at Royal School of Needle work in Hampton Court Palace for a BA hons degree and has worked for British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, has her own business  creating hand embroidered bespoke interior accessories, such as cushions and footstools.

She said: “Since lockdown I have been taking on commissions creating interior pieces plus a variation of others from embroidered broaches and jumpers to the gold work mask.

“We would both love to have the piece exhibited in an art gallery, somewhere for other people to enjoy but we are unsure as to where yet.”