Meet the Norwich doctor whose NHS portraits have gone viral

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Release:
February 26, 2022 3:07 pm



Has been updated:
February 27, 2022 8:25 am

It’s not a job known for allowing a lot of free time.

However, junior doctor Lena Ibrahim has somehow cultivated a remarkable side business as a skilled painter when not working in the ward.

A 23-year-old woman from Hethersett creates portraits of healthcare professionals to relax after a stressful shift at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

A graduate of the University of East Anglia School of Medicine has received a lot of attention online after sharing an example of her work.

A particular self-portrait showing her in uniform and drinking coffee received thousands of comments from people around the world after drawing it for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters contest.




Self-portrait of Dr. Lena Ibrahim after a busy shift at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
-Credit: Photo: LENA IBRAHIM

Dr. Ibrahim said: “The picture is very ironic, as I rarely have time to relax and have a cup of coffee.

“Recently, healthcare professionals are generally exposed to a great deal of stress in confined spaces.

“There is a lot of pressure on everyone.”


One of the paintings by Dr. Lena Ibrahim, a colleague working at Norwich University and Norwich University

One of the paintings of Dr. Lena Ibrahim, a colleague working at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
-Credit: Photo: LENA IBRAHIM

Born in Norridge, a junior doctor discovered his love for oil painting while studying art at Wymondham University.

Not only did she receive a message from her former teacher, but she also received many requests from the Commission after her work became viral.

Dr. Ibrahim said: “The teachers really encouraged and pushed me. They saw my potential.

“I generally enjoy portraits and paintings of people from different backgrounds.”


One of the paintings by Dr. Lena Ibrahim, a colleague working at Norwich University and Norwich University

One of the paintings of Dr. Lena Ibrahim, a colleague working at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
-Credit: Photo: LENA IBRAHIM

She described her art as an important tool for her well-being and at the same time her hobby.

“It can be very difficult for healthcare professionals, so it’s important to do some escapism,” said Dr. Ibrahim.


Self-portrait of her Dr. Lena Ibrahim working at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.  P

Self-portrait of Dr. Lena Ibrahim
-Credit: Photo: LENA IBRAHIM

Her self-portrait at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters contest took two weeks to paint.

The A4 picture is smaller than what Dr. Ibrahim usually creates, but he was able to manage his busy schedule.


One of the paintings by Dr. Lena Ibrahim, a colleague working at Norwich University and Norwich University

One of the paintings by Dr. Lena Ibrahim, a colleague working at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
-Credit: Photo: LENA IBRAHIM

After graduating from UEA Medical College last year, Dr. Ibrahim is currently working on rotations in another department of the hospital every four months.

She depicts some of her hospital colleagues and family and embraces the Iraqi heritage of the United Kingdom.


Dr. Lena Ibrahim of Hethersett with her self-portrait working at Norfolk and Norwich University

Dr. Lena Ibrahim of Hethersett with self-portrait
-Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2022

Part-time painter

There are names of different families who enjoy working with a paintbrush away from their daily work.

  • Winston Churchill: The wartime prime minister was inspired by enthusiastic amateur painters such as Edouard Manet, Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne.

    Painting of Winston Churchill on a visit to Southern France

    Painting of Winston Churchill on a visit to Southern France
    -Credit: LIFE Picture Collection

  • Bob Dylan: The singer found time in his career to maintain his passion for art and staged an exhibition of his paintings in 2018.
  • Timothy Spall: The actor played the artists JMW Turner and LS Lowry on the big screen, and he himself became a skilled painter. During the pandemic, he painted 20 works on display at the Ponton Gallery in London.
  • Marilyn Monroe: Talented artist President John F. Kennedy’s watercolor painting of roses won £ 43,000 at auction.

    Marilyn Monroe applies her make-up and Chanel No. 5 perfume in 1955

    Marilyn Monroe applies her make-up and Chanel No. 5 perfume in 1955
    -Credits: Ed Feingersh / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

  • Harry Hill: Comedians and amateur artists exhibited their work at the Royal Academy’s Summer Show and at the Edinburgh Art Festival.

    Harry Hill

    Harry Hill
    -Credit: Archant

  • Sylvester Stallone: ​​Oscar-nominated screenwriter and actor loves painting, and his work is on display around the world.

Dr. Lena Ibrahim of Hethersett has a self-portrait and a painting of a colleague.

Dr. Lena Ibrahim of Hethersett with self-portraits and paintings of colleagues working at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
-Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2022


Dr. Lena Ibrahim of Hethersett with her self-portrait working at Norfolk and Norwich University

Dr. Lena Ibrahim of Hethersett with her self-portrait at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
-Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2022

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