Junior doctor’s ‘dream come true’ as her paintings are exhibited

A junior doctor with a paint brush and canvas: Lena Ibrahim is one of a kind.

The 24-year-old from Hethersett is currently exhibiting her latest collection of paintings outside Dilham Ward, Centre block, Level 3.

Her portraits represent the life on the wards of other junior doctors she has closely worked with.

“It was always my dream to leave a mark of my passion, painting, in my local hospital and where I work now,” said Lena.

“Through my paintings I wanted to represent my colleagues and what we look like, I think not everybody is fully aware of our roles at the hospital.

“Some of the paintings show colleagues being happy working together after a long day, others portray the apprehension, exhaustion but also sense of reward and pride – all the range of emotions you go through in this job.

“The paintings also represent a visual diary for me, something I will look back in future to remember the friends I’ve made here.”

Being a junior doctor does not allow much of spare time, but Lena still manages to find the time to practise and produce artworks.

“I tend to paint as a way to wind down after stressful shifts, but I’m very inconsistent,” she added.

“I’d like to do a bit of painting every day and I know I need to improve this aspect.

“I use my annual leave to paint and sometimes use my days off to take reference photographs of my colleagues. Finding the right time to take the shots, in such a busy environment, is one of the biggest hurdles to getting my ideas onto the canvas.”

Lena discovered her love for portrait painting while studying art at Wymondham College. Some of her work has been used by the University of East Anglia (UEA) to promote their new MA degree in Medical and Health Humanities and she has also received multiple accolades in the press and social media.

“When I was 18, I was really into pursuing art, but decided to study medicine. I knew if I became a doctor I’d still have the opportunity to paint on the side.

“Some of the colleagues who are in the portraits are being recognised in the corridors which amuses me – I hope the paintings will stay at NNUH for a long time.”

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