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AS A war artist who’d spent time in Afghanistan and the Mediterranean, the military reference to “front-line” NHS staff and key workers had a particular relevance to Dan Peterson.
It struck him that his experience as a war artist might be useful in recording the efforts of those battling against Covid-19.
He secured a commission from Cardiff & Vale University Health Board to capture the changes the NHS was going through, and one of the most unusual projects was the building of a temporary 1,500-bed field hospital Ysbyty Calon Y Ddraig – Dragon’s Heart Hospital – within the grounds of Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, the second largest in Britain.
“I wanted to illustrate as many aspects as I could,” says Peterson. “It was just as important to sketch the cleaners as it was the doctors and nurses.”
He’s hopeful that the drawings have captured something of this time for the NHS. “Drawings provide us with a visual and mental perspective that photographs do not,” he says.
“The work of projects such as Arts for Health and Wellbeing will no doubt be much needed as we deal with the far-reaching mental-health repercussions of this pandemic.”
Prints of Peterson’s work are now available, with 50 per cent of of the profits going to the Cardiff health charity’s arts fund.
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