An artist originally from Chilliwack donated a painting he created in honour of frontline workers to B.C. paramedics.
Davis Graham, also known as ‘Pencil Fingerz’, revealed the original painting and presented it to B.C. Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) on May 19.
“I wanted to paint something to honour the paramedics that put their lives at risk on the frontlines during the height of the pandemic,” Graham said. “At the very start of the pandemic, no one left their house. Everyone was scared. And yet paramedics were out there on the front lines – continuing their work.”
The piece is entitled ‘Beyond the Mask’ and the presentation took place at the DelaSalle station in Burnaby with Leanne Heppell, BCEHS executive vice president and chief ambulance officer, and Neil Lilley, chief operating officer in attendance.
The artwork contains many images, some hidden, including an image of the Coronavirus. The central figure represents female, male and non-binary employees.
“I purposely show fear and exhaustion on their faces to reflect what I imagined they were feeling during that time – and, also to acknowledge that it’s OK to feel completely defeated by something,” Graham said. “It’s an attempt to try and understand how they were feeling at the height of the pandemic. I hope they feel seen and understood.”
Graham thanked John Semple, BCEHS patient care delivery manager with Fraser District, who helped him with technical aspects of the uniform and with organizing the presentation of the painting.
BCEHS will be making 5,000 limited edition prints of the painting and giving them to every paramedic across the province to honour their work.
“Davis has done a beautiful job of capturing the intensity of the past two years and paying tribute to the work of paramedics, call takers, dispatchers, patient transfer coordinators and other front-line employees, and we are very grateful for the generous donation of his artwork,” Heppell said. “We are sending a print to all our employees, to show our appreciation for their dedication, kindness and professionalism each and every day, particularly in these challenging times with the pandemic and ongoing toxic drug crisis.”
Originally from Chilliwack, Graham currently lives in Vancouver and works as a tattoo artist.