UCD student nurse reimagines famous painting with pandemic twist for charity

A first year student nurse is raising money for charity by reimagining some of the world’s most popular paintings with a modern Covid-19 twist.

Chloe Slevin spent more than five hours painting Girl With A Surgical Mask while self-isolating at her Dublin home.

The painting is a nod to Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring, believed to date from around 1665.

The UCD student is auctioning the painting and giving all the funding to the Feed the Heroes charity – a campaign that delivers food to hospital and emergency workers.

Chloe, a first year trainee children’s and general nurse, is currently working on a Covid-19 ward at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin as a healthcare assistant.

“I made this when I was bored in quarantine, like I think a lot of people are, and I wanted to incorporate what is going on at the moment,” she said.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Chloe Slevin with her painting Girl With A Surgical Mask (Brian Lawless/PA)</figcaption>
Chloe Slevin with her painting Girl With A Surgical Mask (Brian Lawless/PA)

“It is a painting I really like and something I was familiar with but I wanted to make it my own.

“I added on the face masks to make it more modern because face masks are everywhere now.

“I am also painting more in the same style and giving the same modern twist to it and will sell them for other charities.

“Any donations now are really important because charities, such as Pieta House, couldn’t raise their usual earnings from the Darkness into Light appeal so they are not getting the funding they are used to.

“To have any donations coming in is really helpful and Feed the Heroes is one that helps a lot of people.”

Despite being a first year student and working on a busy ward treating Covid-19 patients, Chloe said she is receiving a lot support from other students and health workers.

“There are clinical support placement coordinators who are very open to helping students, and clinical nurse managers are there constantly checking up on everyone,” she added.

“Although I am only in my first year, I feel well looked after but also important.

“I love being able to have a conversation with the patients because they are so alone.

There are no visitors allowed in or out so it’s very hard for people who are used to seeing their family all the time. Day in, day out they are just sitting in a room.

“So to sit with them and have a chat you can see they are so much more comfortable and I am able to do that for them and be that someone to talk to.

“Having a family member to talk to on the phone isn’t the same as having someone there in person. Although I can’t even smile at them because I’m wearing masks, they can tell.

“It’s nice to be there for people as I wanted to get out there and help, I didn’t want to just sit at home during this so it’s a really nice opportunity to do that.”

For further information contact chloeslevin@gmail.com