Stevenage artist’s NHS-inspired collection to be displayed at Lister Hospital

PUBLISHED: 15:21 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:52 16 May 2020

Aidan Farr's 'CARRY ON NHS' collection will be displayed at Lister Hospital. Picture: Aidan Farr

Aidan Farr's 'CARRY ON NHS' collection will be displayed at Lister Hospital. Picture: Aidan Farr


An NHS-inspired collection of ‘Carry On’ cartoons from a Stevenage artist will be displayed in a new gallery space at Lister Hospital.

Stevenage-based Aidan with actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. Picture: Aidan FarrStevenage-based Aidan with actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. Picture: Aidan Farr

Actor and artist Aidan Farr has drawn a collection of 16 caricatures entitled ‘Carry On NHS,’ featuring stars from the Carry On film franchise, who are promoting the NHS during lockdown.

Aidan approached Lister last week, who said they would love to display his collection as an exhibit in a new gallery space set to be opened at the hospital.

‘Carry On NHS’ includes cartoons of famous characters such as Sid James, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Williams and Jim Dale – who Aidan twice met in London’s West End.

Aidan said his collection was inspired by a long-time love for Carry On films, and a lockdown-induced boredom which has deprived him of usual creative outlets.

“I would normally go to acting workshops at the Actor’s Centre in London,” Aidan said. “So I instead decided to relieve the 12-week isolation period with this new project.

You may also want to watch:

“Unfortunately I am in the government’s vulnerable category, so have been advised to adhere to strict social isolation. The drawing helps me pass the days by, while also hopefully doing some good.

The Stevenage resident wanted to donate his collection to Lister as a way of saying thank you, after experiencing life-saving care from the hospital in 2005.

“About 15 years ago I was violently assaulted in Stevenage town centre by a stranger, which left me in a coma for five weeks. They had to drill into my skull to relieve the brain haemorrhage.

“I was brought to Lister, and they saved my life. I still suffer from many complications. My balance and memory are affected, and I have a bad weakness down one side – but this is a way of showing how much they did for me.”

Aidan’s project has also elicited responses from various Stevenage-based Facebook sites, where he has encouraged others to get creative in lockdown.

He has also contacted Stevenage museum which is planning on displaying an exhibit of ‘Lockdown Art’ from Stevenage residents, featuring some of Aidan’s work.

Before the collection goes on display at Lister, Aidan is hoping to reach out to a professional framer who could donate their time to mount the cartoons.

If you are, or know a framer willing to help, contact Aidan Farr on Facebook.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the The Comet