Huge NHS Art Installation coming to Coventry

Standing with Giants exhibition in Oxford will shortly be coming to Coventry. Photo BBC

Coventry citizens and visitors are invited to walk and move amongst 300 life-sized NHS inspired figures which will be on display from Monday 11 October until Friday 29 October 2021 at Coombe Abbey Country Park.

The installation is the work of ‘Standing with Giants’, a not-for-profit organisation based in Oxfordshire, founded by Artist, Dan Barton, and enabled by a team of dedicated community volunteers who have worked tirelessly this summer to create this poignant and epic tribute.

The unique figures are all created from upcycled composite aluminium boards and attached to steel frames. They are individually hand cut, painted and assembled, and took the team three months to produce.

The backs of the figures are painted black to symbolise remembrance, with a white face mask to represent the harsh realities of Covid-19. When viewed from the back you will see a sea of silhouettes with face masks.

When viewed from the front you will view a sea of colourful frontline workers. Visitors are given the opportunity to write their own thoughts and reflections on the backs of the silhouettes using a (provided) paint pen – these powerful and moving messages are now part of the display. The display is being used to fundraise for the project and ‘NHS Charities Together’.

Following a successful launch in Oxford in July, the installation will be making its way around the country – starting with Coventry.

“We are so excited to be visiting Coventry,” says Dan, “especially with it being the City of Culture this year. This is such a worthy and timely project and follows our ethos of remembering those who have given their lives for the freedom of others. This particular installation is to remember those NHS workers who lost their lives on the front line fighting Covid-19, whilst offering a massive thank you for the care and dedication given by current NHS and frontline staff, now and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  We have been overwhelmed by the amazing reactions from visitors, the heartfelt stories, the obvious need to grieve, and just the enormous positive energy towards the project”.

Coventry City Council are supporting Standing with Giants by hosting the outdoor exhibition at its Coombe Abbe Park venue.

The organisers are looking for volunteers to help with installing the figures and marshalling visitors during the event. If you’d like to be involved please email the organisers at

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