Cliftonville amateur artist creates ICU 2020 canvas in aid of QEQM Hospital

ICU 2020 by Tom Rhatigan

A Cliftonville author and amateur artist is hoping his canvas depicting the impact of Covid on NHS staff can be sold to raise funds for frontline workers at QEQM.

Tom Rhatigan, 62, recently took up painting as a hobby and wanted to depict the struggle against the virus and the issues surrounding a lack of personal protective equipment supply.

He said: “A few months back I decided to have a go at painting on canvas, having never painted in my life before.

“I am working on a project to highlight mental health and how painting can be a great source of inspirational therapy.

“Because of the crisis we are in, I decided to paint an image of doctors in the corridor of an ICU department. It’s a little controversial because I painted the images from scenes I have seen with the desperate measures our NHS staff have had to take to protect themselves.

“I felt I had to play some part in showing the reality the impact of Coronavirus has had on our doctors and nurses and health care staff working in our hospitals and care homes.

“I’m not one to attempt to make cheap political statements, butwe had reassurances that PPI was stockpiled in our warehouses ready to be collected and delivered by the army to our hospitals desperately in need of this protective equipment. In reality there were no stockpiles and many hospitals had to make do with whatever they could muster up to protect themselves and their patients, including covering themselves with black bin liners.”

The painting is called ‘ICU 2020’ and is painted on a 4’-3’ canvas.

Tom is hoping it will eventually be exhibited alongside other works on the same subject before being either sold or raffled off with all proceeds going to the ICU at QEQM Hospital.