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Covid NHS memorial is named year’s top statue

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 06 November 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2594
  1. Alison Shepherd
  1. The BMJ

Scotland’s first memorial sculpture dedicated to NHS staff who worked through the covid-19 pandemic has been voted the best in the UK.

Your Next Breath—created by Kenny Hunter and commissioned by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh—was last week named this year’s winner of the Public Statues and Sculpture Association’s Marsh Awards.

The bronze figure group was inspired by Hunter’s conversations with four surgeons, Anna Paisley, Clare McNaught, Greg Ekatah, and Nirmal Kumar. It now stands at the entrance to Surgeons Hall in Edinburgh.

On receiving the award, Hunter, a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, said, “Your Next Breath is a testament to the unwavering dedication and courage of our NHS heroes. Thanks to meeting frontline healthcare workers, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the physical and psychological impact the pandemic took on NHS staff . What emerged was a sense that this memorial should contain a mixture of light and dark to truthfully reflect their experience.”

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