Huge grass painting to celebrate NHS heroes

The field art piece celebrating the NHS Credit: Sand In Your Eye/PA

An artist has created a huge tribute to the heroes of the NHS in a West Yorkshire field.

The 100m-wide (328ft) NHS logo, filled with hearts and signed off with a “thank you”, has been created by Jamie Wardley, in Mytholmroyd – a town which found itself in the news earlier this year when it was flooded during torrential storms.

Mr Wardley, who is the artistic director and founder of the Hebden Bridge-based Sand In Your Eye studios, said he had created the work to thank NHS staff ahead of the Clap For Carers on Thursday evening.

He said the painting, which was created while sticking to social distancing rules on a private field on the site of his studio, was “to celebrate and thank all the NHS staff working on the frontline to fight the coronavirus pandemic”.

Mr Wardley said: “Me and my wife were having a chat and we just thought it would be really nice to do a thank you message.

“Of course, we’ve got all the isolation considerations, so we figured that a painting in the field where we work would be ideal.”

He said: “It took a long time. We’d done the outline and me and my wife were saying it doesn’t feel right, it feels a bit too much like a graphic. So she had the idea of putting the hearts in it.

“So that’s a lot of hearts to make. I don’t know how many there are. There must be thousands of hearts. But it seemed really fitting.”

The 100m-wide art piece is filled with hearts and signed off with a ‘thank you’ Credit: Sand In Your Eye/PA

Mr Wardley, whose sister-in-law is an ICU nurse, said he wanted the painting to coordinate with the Thursday evening Clap For Carers.

He said: “I think everyone is affected by this because we’ve all got loved ones that are vulnerable and I think it’s a really beautiful thing that everyone’s pulling together to protect the vulnerable in society.

“Every Thursday we’re hanging out of our window clapping.

“That’s an amazing thing that everyone is isolated but at that moment everyone comes together. So clapping on a Thursday is a very special moment.”

Sand In Your Eye is known for its sand and ice sculptures as well as sand drawings and pumpkin carvings.

The studio won the Visual Art Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards for its 2018 collaboration with Oscar winner Danny Boyle to create public art for Armistice Day on 32 beaches across the UK.