St John's Church, which re-opened its doors* on Monday, 15th June for a few hours everyday for quiet prayer, is hosting an installation by artist Lindy Furby reflecting on the treatment of BAME people during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. All are welcome to visit.
This installation consists of 50 prints of facemasks with images of named** Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals who have contracted coronavirus working in frontline services such as the NHS, care homes, shops and buses and who have died as a result. These are combined with a further 10 facemasks with ‘I can’t breathe’ printed across them.
Lady Chapel, St John's Waterloo
The prints are scattered on the floor as if they had been discarded, reflecting the insufficient attention given to providing PPE for frontline workers and the failure of the Government to respond sooner to the fact that BAME staff were dying in disproportionately high numbers. The setting up of this installation in the Lady Chapel is intended to encourage those engaging in prayer and reflection to honour the memories of these heroes.
About the artist
Lindy Furby is an artist, working mostly on landscape, and a printmaker based in Edinburgh and a member of Edinburgh Printmakers. She remembers fondly her stay in Waterloo when she had her first job as a primary school teacher in Brixton, aged 21. She later moved to Bradford to continue working in education and now lives in Edinburgh. Lindy writes to us:
"At the start of the coronavirus crisis in the UK, I became aware very quickly that BAME people in the NHS had unfeasibly high fatality rates. I subsequently discovered this was also true for other frontline workers, e.g. bus drivers, care assistants and taxi drivers. Since the Edinburgh Printmakers is closed due to the current pandemic,I made the plates at home and printed them on my dining room table with a small die-cutting press.
Each facemask is a hand printed collagraph/drypoint print (30cmx11cm). To obtain these prints I made an acrylic drypoint plate of the person on acrylic. This has been a truly sombre process... I am absolutely aware that these are not statistics, but each name represents a person who will be sorely grieved by their families and friends. I inked the plate with black ink and burnished it clean. At the same time I rolled blue ink onto a facemask, I placed the face drypoint plate on top of the facemask plate and put dampened paper on them both. Finally, I put it through the press."
*St John's Waterloo is now open Monday to Friday between 12pm and 2pm.
**All the images and names were taken from the public domain – most of them from articles in The Guardian written by Sarah Marsh. In memory of:
Abdul Gellaledin, Ambulance Care Assistant
Abdul Mabud, Chowdhury Doctor
Ade Raymond, Heathcare assistant and student nurse
Alfa Sa’adu, Doctor
Alice Kit Takong, Nurse
Amarente Dias, Endoscopy decontamination technician
Amor Gatineo, Nurse
Andrew Nwankwo, Nurse
Areema Nasreen, Nurse
Ben Quinn, shopkeeper
Carole Jamabo, Careworker
Cecilia Fashanu, Nurse
Charles Kwami Tanor, Healthcare worker
Dawn Marshall, Support time recovery worker
Donald Suelto, Nurse
Elbert Rico, Hospital Porter
Elsie Sazusa, Nurse
Eric Labeja-Acellam, Consultant
Esther Akinsaya, Nurse
Gladys Nyemba, Nurse
Glen Corbin, Health care assistant
Jane Mary Jongwe, Nurse
Jitendra Rathod, Doctor
Josiane Ekoli, Nurse
Julie Edward, Nurse
Juliet Alder, Health care assistant
Kamlesh Massan, GP
Karamat Mirza, GP
Khulisini Nkala, Nurse
Lalaine Lopez Pesario, Nurse