Public art exhibition honouring the NHS to begin nationwide tour in Birmingham

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A public art installation paying tribute to the NHS, which features the voices of stars including Hugh Bonneville, Fatboy Slim and Adil Ray, is to go on a nationwide tour.

The exhibition, titled Gratitude, will first go on display in Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square next month.

It will include 51 sculptures by artists and designers including Pam Hogg, Andrew Logan and Kitty Johnson.

The sculptures in Birmingham (David Oates/PA)
The sculptures in Birmingham (David Oates/PA)

Actor Bonneville, DJ Fatboy Slim, and TV presenter and actor Ray are among the stars who will voice real-life stories and poems about the pandemic as part of the exhibition.

Actor Christopher Eccleston, actress Sarah Parish and singer KT Tunstall will also feature.

The sculptures will be auctioned off at a later date with “substantial proceeds” from the sale going to NHS Charities Together, the organisers said in a statement.

They will also go on display in Manchester, Edinburgh and London.

Ray said: “I’d delighted that Gratitude is launching in my home city of Birmingham and I am incredibly honoured to be voicing one of the stories.

“The pandemic has affected us all in so many different ways, so it’s wonderful to be working on such a creative and thought-provoking installation, that we can all contribute to and experience.”

Some of the sculptures in the Gratitude exhibition (David Oates/PA)
Some of the sculptures in the Gratitude exhibition (David Oates/PA)

Bonneville said: “It’s been a very tough year for everyone, but especially for our key workers, so I am honoured to have been asked to be part of Gratitude.

“The project will help shine a much-needed light on all the hard work and dedication of our wonderful NHS and all of the other key workers across the UK.”

Gratitude will be on display in Birmingham from August 20 to 30.

It will then be in Manchester from September 3 to 12, followed by a stint in Edinburgh from September 17 to 26.

It will finish up in London from October 1 to 10.

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