Artist Julio reveals how love and loss has inspired his latest painting project

Stairway to Heaven by Julio

Now, more than ever we need to celebrate the bravery, resilience and strength shown by our elderly population as they struggle with our year-long pandemic’. Those are the words of artist Julio who shares how his new painting project is celebrating those in their ‘golden years’.

Juliocesartist’s father passed away in 2019  and after returning to the UK, he started to look broadly at the issues that affect the elderly away from his immediate surrounding in Islington, North London. Where he makes sure he keeps in touch with several of his elderly neighbours who live alone.

In April 2020, shortly after the lockdown in the UK, his grandmother passed way. Due to travel restrictions during the pandemic it was impossible for Julio to go and pay his last respects and due to that sad loss, as well as the lockdown, it kick started Julio to do a portrait of his grandmother, ‘Stairway To Heaven’ as a tribute to her loving memory.

The great power of the arts as a therapy enabled him to mourn his great loss and embarked him on what turned out to  be the start to the series ‘Golden Years’ he had been planning to do, followed by a portrait titled ‘Captain Sir Tom Moore’ as a tribute to him for his walk to raise money for the NHS and his human skills to bring the country together.

Julio said: ‘I wanted the piece to pay tribute to those who have worked so hard to keep the country going throughout the pandemic, including NHS staff and, of course, our hero Captain Tom.’

The artist wanted to give everyone a chance to be the in with a chance to have the ‘Golden Oldie’ in their life to be painted by himself and be included in the series.

Almost 30,000 more care home residents in England and Wales died during the coronavirus outbreak than during the same period in 2019, ONS figures show. But only two-thirds were directly attributable to Covid-19. The Office for National Statistics figures are the first to reveal the full toll on care homes, including deaths that happened in hospital.

There were just over 66,000 deaths of care home residents in England and Wales between 2 March and 12 June this year, compared to just under 37,000 deaths last year. Covid-19 was the leading cause of death for male care home residents, accounting for a third of all deaths, and the second most-common cause of death for female residents, after dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The artist wanted to give everyone a chance to be the in with a chance to have the ‘Golden Oldie’ in their life to be painted by himself and be included in the series.

If you would like to contact Julio about a portrait, please email a photograph of them with a couple of sentences as to why they are so special to you and send to julio@juliocesarts.com

Click here to see more of Julio’s work and check out his Outside In gallery

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