A leading Tayside street artist has added Captain Tom Moore to his long list of impressive works in a lockdown tribute to the remarkable veteran fundraiser.
And although Symon Mathieson’s stunning artwork on the end of a Dundee garden shed won’t be seen by many passers by, the tribute to the 99-year-old and the NHS has already received massive acclaim on social media.
Symon, aka Syke, is widely known in his home city and farther afield for work including last year’s poignant tribute to Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie, the owner of Dundee’s famous Groucho’s record shop, whose portrait now adorns the city’s Tayview Community Centre.
The sheds on his doorstep had already provided a Covid-19 canvas for Symon when Captain Tom’s fundraising walk – which has now raised more than £27 million – captured the street artist’s imagination.
“The houses are being redeveloped and half the sheds were just abandoned, so I painted the two outside my front door and other neighbours were happy for me to do theirs to brighten them up.” he said.
“It gives me something to do – I’d normally be out in a public place but we obviously can’t go anywhere.
“I just thought I wanted to do this one because he has done so much and raised so much more than a lot of other or people or agencies.
“I had a statue-style portrait theme running on the other sheds, but this one is different because it’s a portrait of him, but I kind of stuck to the same colours.
“Usually I’m out and about and lots of people see our work, which is the point of these things.
“I just did it as a personal thing and to be honest I’ve been quite shocked by the reaction to it, but it’s been really good,” added Symon in response to the comments which have flooded his Instagram account and other social media sites.
Last year’s portrait of Breeks was a labour of love for Symon, who had been a lifelong fan of Groucho’s.
“As a graffiti artist, this is how I pay respect to people,” he said.
Captain Moore’s astonishing fundraiser, which began in the hope of raising a good sum for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday, has also revealed a special connection to the pandemic hero for a Dundee family.
Mr Ness’s 91-year-old widow, Ethel, and daughters Elaine and Carol said they were “thrilled” when the connection to the inspirational nonagenarian emerged.
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