This is Ewan, the seventh portrait of this series which celebrates NHS heroes. Painted during the first national lockdown in 2020, Ewan began working for the NHS at only seventeen years old and is the youngest key worker painted by artist Lisa Timmerman.
This portrait reflects Ewan’s remarkable transformation, from a student captured in his school uniform standing in the foreground, unaware of his future self wearing his hospital uniform. These two selves are separated by what seems to be caution tape, conveying the potential endangerment of this selfless act.
Initially, Ewan was at school studying for his ‘vital exams’ and considering his career path when they were canceled. His primary focus then quickly shifted from his education to the safety of others during this very critical period. There is a subtle but reassuring facial expression in both versions of Ewan, as a young man taking on serious health risks to assist the national effort in fighting this disease.
He began working in the hospital he was born in, which was St. John’s Hospital, Livingston, NHS Lothian, Scotland. He was working alongside his proud mother and advanced nurse practitioner, Hazel, who first contacted Lisa. As a domestic worker, Ewan cleaned the hospital to ensure decontamination which was vital to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
This portrait serves as a reminder of a universal experience when our way of life abruptly changed and both mother and son went towards the danger as NHS heroes. Hazel said that when she saw Lisa begin this commission that her ‘heart actually jumped’. Traveling from Leicestershire to Lothian, you can see the uncanny resemblance in the young man holding his portrait.
To view more of Lisa’s portraits of NHS Heroes and read their stories, visit her website.