‘Thank you NHS and Care Workers’: Sandwell Council and local artist pay tribute with a huge winged sculpture

Sandwell sculptor Luke Perry has created a four-metre tall sculpture of a winged medical worker to say thank you and pay tribute to all our NHS and social care workers fighting on the front line in the battle against COVID-19.

The angelic sculpture, entitled Wings and Scrubs, bears the inscription ‘Thank you NHS and Care Workers’ and represents the ‘angels’ who continue to work tirelessly to protect and care for us all during this unprecedented time.

Luke created the sculpture at his factory in Cradley Heath, using steel and other metals. He gave it wings to symbolise the angelic quality of our health and care workers.

He then worked with Sandwell Council to install it at Lightwoods Park in Bearwood, to be visible to many hospital and care workers on their way to and from work.

The Hagley Road West side of Lightwoods Park, where the sculpture is located, is on a key commuter route used by many people travelling to and from Birmingham and the Black Country. The park is also used by local people taking their daily exercise.

The inspiration for the huge sculpture came from the artist’s conversations about those working for the NHS with his friend Oscar Nolan, a paediatric heart consultant at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Luke 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.”

He continued: “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 and 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.”

The sculpture is a private donation and has not been funded by any public money.