Tom Leighton is raising money for King's through his latest art project: 'The Act of Protection', which explores and comments on our recognition of the NHS, how we have been protecting others and ourselves and what impact single use items have had on our environment.

Tom is a commerical photographer and a familiar face at King's.  He is a former patient, a regular giver to King's College Hospital Charity, and back in May, he became a member of staff when he rolled up his sleeves to help staff administer COVID-19 vaccinations.


Tom was first introduced to King's back in 2011 when his lung suddenly collapsed on the way to work.


"From that day on, it just kept collapsing," says Tom. 


"I once walked into the King's A&E, and a nurse who had treated me before saw me enter and immediately recognised me.


"The nurse took just one look at me, nodded and said, 'come on, let's go!'"

After many hospital vists, King's specialists performed a pleurodesis operation, which involved putting a mildly irritant drug into the space between the affected lung and chest wall in order to 'stick' the lung to the wall of the chest.


Tom was so grateful for the care he received at King's he has decided to donate a portion of his latest art exihibit sales to King's College Hospital Charity.


His latest exhibit 'The Act of Protection,' will be featured at this month's Peckham Festival, where local contemporary artists are put in the spotlight for producing distinctive and unique artwork.


"For my latest project, I chose to channel my frustration about the pandemic and the environmental emergency," says Tom. 


"Seeing discarded face masks on the ground demonstrated to me a lack of consideration for those who might have to clean up the streets and little regard for the impact this behaviour would have on the other’s health and the environment.


"I spent a few months going around Camberwell, Peckham and London collecting masks and creating cyanotypes, which is an early form of photography, of the masks on an original copy of the 1946 National Health Service Act.  I am also making a book of the series.


"The Act of Protection asks us to consider who we are protecting, how we protect them, and why."

The Act of Protection features at Peckham Festival

Please head to the artist's website to view their print sales page and click here for information on the upcoming exhibit.