| 9.5°C Belfast

Belfast artist Graeme Foster's latest work is picture perfect for NHS workers during coronavirus pandemic


Close

Belfast artist Foss at work on his ‘Clap for Carers’ painting

Belfast artist Foss at work on his ‘Clap for Carers’ painting

Belfast artist Foss' ‘Clap for Carers’ painting

Belfast artist Foss' ‘Clap for Carers’ painting

Belfast artist Foss at work on his ‘Clap for Carers’ painting

A Belfast artist says he has been inspired by dedicated NHS staff and other key workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in his latest works.

Graeme Foster (52) from the east of the city has produced a new painting based on the 'Clap for Carers' weekly round of national applause.

It depicts people standing outside the front doors of their little two-up two-down terrace houses with the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes in the background.

While the original painting has since been bought for an NHS nurse, prints are also being sold to honour those going the extra mile.

Currently in lockdown with his 12-year-old son Conor, the artist known as Foss, said: "Whatever is happening around me tends to weave its way into a picture and originally I had painted all the front doors on the street closed.

"Then I thought 'why am I doing that when everyone has now opened their doors?'

"I had to change that and the idea came from there, especially after everyone started putting rainbows in their windows to support and thank NHS workers.

"For some reason this picture has really resonated with many people who maybe who wouldn't normally buy art.

"Anybody who has loved ones on the radar of essential workers has been ordering them so I put the name of the person who is receiving the picture in the street name."

Graeme is now working on a second piece focused around Northern Ireland's first Nightingale Hospital at Belfast City Hospital's tower block.

Pre-lockdown, Graeme was a regular fixture at St George's Market and sold his art there every Friday, Saturday and Sunday since turning his talent into a full-time career six years ago.

"For the sake of everyone's livelihood and mental health too I hope we'll be able to get back there fairly soon," he said.

Last year, one of Graeme's paintings honouring the murdered journalist Lyra McKee was exhibited as part of the 2019 Royal Ulster Academy exhibition in the Ulster Museum.

The large oil painting, entitled RIP Lyra, was later purchased by an anonymous buyer in Switzerland.

Belfast Telegraph