‘Corona Lisa’: UCD student nurse raises money with pandemic artwork

Jamie Mc Carron

A trainee nurse in UCD will auction a Covid-19-themed reimagining of the Mona Lisa in order to raise money for charity.

‘Corona Lisa’ by Chloe Slevin has Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE) used by healthcare workers and is the latest in her series of pandemic related artwork.

The 21-year-old artist is in her third-year of nursing at University College Dublin, and says she drew inspiration from her experiences during a recent placement on a children’s emergency ward.

“The PPE became normal to us and we were wearing it day in, day out, and that’s kind of what inspired the Corona Lisa,” she said.

“I loved this placement but it was a very tough time. There I experienced my first paediatric cardiac arrest and that’s something you’d never forget. You never forget the moment you got that phone call, we ran in to put on our PPE and we did everything we could,” she told the Irish Independent.

An online auction for the Corona Lisa will be run on the website of auctioneer Herman & Wilkinson at 10am  tomorrow with proceeds going to the children’s hospice LauraLynn.

Slevin stated that the painting illustrates what many healthcare staff have been through during the pandemic andit holds a special place in her heart.

“It was probably the toughest thing I’ve gone through so far, it was an incredibly difficult time. The impact it had on me, I still get emotional talking about it today. With this painting, I was able to turn to this and use that as my own form of art therapy and a distraction.”

“You’re smothered in PPE and it’s tough. It was a very tough placement but I hope to one day get a job there. That’s my dream to work in an emergency department,” she said.

Slevin has previously re-worked the hands in Michelangelo’s The Creation Of Adam wearing surgical gloves, entitled The Separation of Adam, raising €520 for the children’s ambulance service Bumbleance.

She also painted a twist on Johannes Vermeer’s famous Girl With A Pearl Earring to depict the Girl with a Surgical Mask, which raised €400 for the Feed the Heroes charity, which delivered food to hospital and emergency workers during the beginning of the pandemic.

Slevin’s decision to support LauraLynn with her latest work stems from her experiences  caring for children.

 “They’re such an important charity and the work they do for these families is amazing, so I really want to put this one out there for them,” she said.

Jamie Mc Carron

Image Credit: Brian Lawless/PA