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11 May 2020

Winged sculpture pays tribute to health and social care 'angels'

A four-metre tall sculpture of a winged medical worker is paying tribute to NHS and social care ‘angels’ on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Black Country sculptor Luke Perry has created the angelic figure from steel and other metals in his factory in Cradley Heath and he has worked with Sandwell Council to install it at Lightwoods Park in Bearwood.

The sculpture is located on the Hagley Road West side of Lightwoods Park on a key commuter route used by many hospital and care workers travelling to and from Birmingham and the Black Country.

The temporary installation, called Wings and Scrubs, bears the inscription ‘Thank you NHS and Care Workers’ and can also be seen by people taking their daily exercise at the park.

The sculpture, which was unveiled yesterday (Wednesday), is a private donation and has not been funded by any public money.

Luke’s long friendship with Oscar Nolan – a paediatric heart consultant at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital – and his recent conversations with Oscar about those working for the NHS were the inspiration for the sculpture.

Luke, who lives in Stourbridge, said:

“Like everyone, I have family members who owe their lives to the NHS and I wanted to create a piece of public art that captures the huge public outpouring of thanks to our health and care workers at this time.

“It is also a monument to all those who have lost their lives on the frontline fighting the virus and a reminder of how important the NHS is. This is a marker to all our key workers and everyone fighting this ‘war’ and acknowledges their commitment and sacrifices.

“I have used steel and other metals available in our factory to create the sculpture and I wanted the figure to have wings to symbolise the angelic quality of our health and care workers.

“I would like to thank Sandwell Council for helping to find an ideal location for the sculpture.

“Lightwoods Park is perfect as many health and care workers travel along the Hagley Road to and from hospitals in Birmingham and on their way to their caring roles, so I hope they will see it and know that their inspirational work is so highly valued by us all.”

Councillor Yvonne Davies, Leader of Sandwell Council and Chair of the Sandwell Health & Wellbeing Board, said:

“This is a wonderful, visual symbol of the gratitude we all feel to our NHS and care workers and I would like to thank Luke Perry for creating this inspirational piece of public art.

“We know this is a very challenging time for our health and social care workers. We hope that when they see this sculpture at Lightwoods Park, either on their way to work or while taking their daily exercise, that it will be a reminder of how much they all mean to us and that we all appreciate the amazing job they are doing.

“The bravery and selflessness of our NHS and care workers – as well as the service of all key workers – is an inspiration to everyone.”

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