“THANK you”: That is the simple and powerful message which Cardiff-based artist, Nathan Wyburn, sought to express when he created a digital portrait of a nurse using more than 200 selfies contributed by NHS staff on Facebook.

After sharing the artwork on his social media channels, the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board commissioned it to be displayed at all major sites, including Llandough Hospital and the University Hospital of Wales in Heath.

Mr Wyburn, 30, decided to make the art after he was ‘moved to tears’ by last week’s ‘Clap for our Carers’ appeal.

“I decided to make the piece because most of my friends work for the NHS and I have to see my housemate going to work at half six every night, coming home and feeling worried about whether he’s going to catch the virus,” said Mr Wyburn.

“So I’ve had to witness that and my friends are out there on the front line working so hard, so I wanted to create something using the profile I’ve got from my other work to say thank you in the only way I know how – which is through visual art.”

My Wyburn, who is a patron for the Cardiff and Vale Health Charity, was approached by the health board which commissioned his art to be displayed at several NHS sites.

Mr Wyburn began broadcasting his art ten years ago through his Youtube channel.

Then he was approached by a talent scout and entered Britian’s Got Talent where he reached the semi-final by producing art using Marmite on toast.

“It’s a little bit different to my usual paintings because I usually use food material but I think it summed up exactly what I needed it to very well,” said Mr Wyburn.

“More so than anything I wanted to say a huge thank you”.

The portrait, which took three hours to produce, will be displayed at Llandough Hospital and other sites as a four-metre tall print.

“It will allow people to get up close to it and look at the individual images and then stand back and see the full power of it, which is what I love about the collage,” said Mr Wyburn.

“Just to have it so big and powerful, when people see it as they’re leaving work I think it will give them that little boost.

“They are appreciated. It’s the same message as the clapping just in visual form.”

When discussing the Covid-19 outbreak, Mr Wyburn said: “Everybody is trying to help. I really feel like this has brought out the best in everyone.

“I feel like people have taken a step back and appreciated everything they did have as well, so when they go back out into the world, they will go and see their favourite theatre show and they will buy a piece of art to support the artist.

“I think people will even respect the coffee shops and the bars – little things like how beautifully the coffee shops are crafted.

“The country is doing a lot of thinking right now, and I think they are realising that they had it pretty good.”