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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Local artist pays tribute to frontline workers in new exhibition

Published on:


January 2023

A new exhibition 'Look Aboot Ye: Caring Through COVID' by Karen Strang is being held at the Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie from 14 January to 23 February 2023. 

The exhibition aims to celebrate the unsung heroes who helped to save lives and protect communities during the pandemic and features around 100 portraits of key workers, home carers and shielders - painted and gifted by Karen during the first months of the pandemic.

Eminent Scottish artist Alexander Moffat said, “The portraits were of the highest quality, capturing in paint the unique humanity of each individual despite the masks and PPE equipment that by necessity had to be worn." 
A book of portraits was also produced and Karen has created a large-scale oil painting featuring 55 people from the book as they are now.

Clackmannanshire Council’s Provost, Donald Balsillie, who is officially opening the exhibition said, “It is rare to see the portraits together and I would urge anyone who has the opportunity to do so by either by attending the forthcoming exhibition or purchasing a copy of the Local Heroes publication.

Looking at the portraits Karen has painted, you get a real sense of the people involved. Through their eyes, you can feel their kindness and personality and, in the wearing of protective face masks, you can sense the challenges faced in dealing with COVID and emerging viruses.”

Karen's paintings have been viewed widely, with two projected in Piccadilly Circus as part of the NHS birthday celebrations and an exhibition at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, under the auspices of Artlink Central.

Jim Neill - Chair of East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, which operates the Lillie - said, "We're honoured to be hosting this poignant and vibrant exhibition, which is a fitting tribute to some of the unsung heroes who helped keep people safe during the pandemic." 

The exhibition is on at the Lillie Art Gallery, Station Road, Milngavie, G62 8BZ from 14 January to 23 February 2023. For opening times, visit