Artwork gift for 'selfless and brave' Leeds nurse on coronavirus frontline

A “SELFLESS and brave” nurse who is helping to care for coronavirus patients has been chosen to receive a special thank you after a Leeds artist was moved to recognise the city’s healthcare heroes.

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 3:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 9:25 am
Artist Nicolas Dixon said he was 'overwhelmed' by the nominations. Picture: JPImedia
Artist Nicolas Dixon said he was 'overwhelmed' by the nominations. Picture: JPImedia

Marica Costa was nominated by her partner Ian Armson to receive an original painting by Nicolas Dixon, who earlier this month decided to give away some of his work to the Leeds staff “working day and night” in the fight against coronavirus.

Despite a “few tears” she has “rolled her sleeves up and is taking it in her stride as best she can,” he said.

Ms Costa, who lives in Gledhow, has purchased her on personal protective equipment and is sleeping in a different room to her partner in case she contracts the disease.

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Blush, the painting that is to be given to Ms Costa. Picture: Nicolas Dixon

Mr Dixon said Ms Costa was “a true hero, like all the NHS staff” working in the city, but another reason why he was moved to chose her was her Italian roots.

He said: “She is over here, helping the people of Leeds when I imagine all she wants is to go home and be with her family. Italy has been devastated by coronavirus and she must be so worried. I hope the painting will go a small way to help her know how amazing she is.”

Ms Costa will receive an original abstract painting, entitled Blush, as soon as it is safe to deliver it.

Mr Dixon has also chosen two recipients of art prints from the dozens of nominations, that were “so difficult” to choose from.

An insert of Continuum, the second piece Mr Dixon has decided to give away. Picture: Nicolas Dixon

Claire Bates, a senior sister at the LGI, from Morley, was nominated by her friend Claire Scott, who said she was an “amazing person, humble, brave and working every hour she can”.

Despite having a young baby, she has volunteered to work in the Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate to care for coronavirus patients.

“It’s very brave to put herself forward for what will undoubtedly be a traumatic place to work,” Mr Dixon said.

The third prize was awarded to the Dooner family in Rothwell, “ a full family dedicated to helping people,” Mr Dixon said.

Leeds nurse Marica Costa. Picture: Marica Costa

Mum Lesley works within the occupational therapy team at the LGI, while daughter Emily is a nurse working 13-hour shifts, her sister Maisy works in hospital administration while their brother Arnie is a medical engineer apprentice, who is working extra hours fixing and maintaining vital medical equipment.

Mr Dixon said he was overwhelmed by the nominations he received, some of which came from around the country. Therefore, he has decided to offer another of his original paintings, Continuum, and more prints to NHS staff from outside the city.

He has also decided to give everyone who was nominated in the local giveaway a small print.

Mr Dixon added: “In the midst of this unprecedented crisis, we should all be trying to do our bit and as an artist, I try and hope to put smiles on people’s faces.

“None need that more now than the amazing people who work for the NHS. The stories of peoples courage through this time is quite overwhelming and totally inspiring, and makes me very proud to have people like these on our side️.”

Anyone wishing to nominate a healthcare hero from outside the city should do so on