Black Country sculpture honouring frontline NHS workers is dismantled

A sculpture of a winged medical worker, created as tribute to the NHS and social care workers on the coronavirus frontline, is being dismantled.

Artist Luke Perry dismantling the Wings and Scrubs sculpture, which was located in Lightwoods Park
Artist Luke Perry dismantling the Wings and Scrubs sculpture, which was located in Lightwoods Park

The 13ft tall figure Wings and Scrubs, made from steel and other metals, was created by Luke Perry at his factory in Cradley Heath and installed in Lightwoods Park, Bearwood, in May.

The installation – featuring the inscription ‘Thank you NHS and Care Workers’ – was a private donation in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the outpouring of gratitude to health and care staff.

Luke’s long friendship with Oscar Nolan – a paediatric heart consultant at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital – and his conversations with Oscar about those working for the NHS were the inspiration for the temporary installation.

The sculpture was located on the Hagley Road West side of Lightwoods Park due to it being a key commuter route used by many hospital and care workers travelling to and from Birmingham and the Black Country.

It was dismantled and removed from the park yesterday – and the metal will be used for another sculpture in the Black Country. The possibility of a permanent tribute to frontline workers, including the design and location, are under discussion.

Luke, who lives in Stourbridge, said: “I have been overwhelmed by the response to the Wings and Scrubs ‘angel’.

"It’s unified people and provided a space and a focus for thoughts and conversations about the pandemic and the inspirational efforts of NHS and care workers.

“Like everyone, I have family members who owe their lives to the NHS and I wanted to create a piece of public art that captured the huge public outpouring of thanks to our health and care workers.

“We always said this would be temporary installation, as the work was not designed to be permanent.”

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