A painting paying tribute to Salford key workers is due to appear in the “Days like These” exhibition this February.
The oil painting was donated to Salford Town Hall last year and features some of Salford’s nurses, cleaners, and bin crews, set against the background of the city.
Sophie McBriarty, 25, the artist behind ‘Frontline’, created the painting to give thanks to the pivotal role keyworkers have played during lockdown and still continue to do today.
She said: “I was approached by an anonymous benefactor, who is still remaining anonymous now, about creating a collaboration as a thanks to the key workers of Salford.
“So, once he asked me if I was interested, I did a little bit of artist research and then a few sketches and then it just sort of snowballed into a big painting.
“I finished it by July and It was dropped off at the Salford Town Hall with a note attached thanking the key workers of the city.
“I remained anonymous for quite a few months because we really didn’t want it to be about me being the artist behind it.
“We just wanted it to be a thank you and to speak for itself, to hopefully make all the key workers feel really proud of themselves for what they did and what they continue to do to this day.”
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McBriarty eventually came forward to put her name to the painting and was thanked by the City Mayor and residents of Salford.
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said he was originally baffled but delighted by the donation.
He said: “It captures the real spirit of Salford and the dedication of our key workers who have kept the city going through these difficult times.”
The painting has been displayed at the Lowry and will tour venues across the city when it reopens.
‘Frontline’ is also going to make an appearance alongside other submissions by some of the 245,000 residents of the city in the “Days like These” exhibition.
The exhibition aims to share the stories of Salford locals during 2020, using paintings, photographs, films and poetry.
It will run from February 27th to March 28th online unless The Lowry is allowed to reopen.
More of Sophie’s work, paintings and prints are available on her website.