Museum portrait honour for tailor turned mask maker Joseph

·2-min read
Tailor Patrick Joseph turned artisan mask maker when the coronavirus pandemic forced him to change his business
Tailor Patrick Joseph turned artisan mask maker when the coronavirus pandemic forced him to change his business

A Welsh tailor will appear in a unique photography exhibition after being recognised by The National Lottery for his dedication and devotion to keeping the arts alive and accessible for all during the pandemic.

Patrick Joseph, 55, an artisan tailor based at Ruthin Craft Centre, turned his ‘Telling A Story Through Tailoring’ small grant Lottery project around to create artistically-patterned, medically-tested, face masks for those working on the frontline combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital exhibition marks the first time in history that eight of the UK’s most iconic art galleries have come together in this way.

The collection, titled ‘The National Lottery’s 2020 Portraits of the People’, celebrates the remarkable individuals, including Patrick, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to bring creativity, enjoyment and enrichment to people in new ways.

Thirteen powerful and poignant portraits have been created by Chris Floyd, who normally photographs celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mo Farah and Victoria Beckham.

The exhibition was born out of insights from the National Lottery, which indicate a ‘domestic renaissance’ in people enjoying the arts at home with nearly two thirds (61%) of UK adults saying it helped their state of mind during the crisis, and almost half (47%) of Welsh people believing the positive impacts on their wellbeing would be long lasting.

“I set up the group at the beginning of lockdown – my business came to a very abrupt end, which was making bespoke garments,” said Patrick.

“I was listening to all the media stuff about masks, what was wrong, what was right and what would work, and I began engineering a mask in the studio.

“We had it tested by a hospital and got it approved very quickly in the midst of all the questions about masks.

“The staff really liked it – I made it from printed fabric and included messages of hope on the inside. The nurses loved wearing them and the patients found them quite friendly when they were feeling a little scared in hospital.