Student’s art based on grandfather’s Covid journey in NWRC exhibition

A North West Regional College Art & Design student who created a moving animation detailing his grandfather’s time in hospital and miraculous recovery from Covid-19, will be one of the students exhibiting at NWRC’s online end of year art show.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:52 pm
Ethan Deery and his grandfather Neil present pictures to staff at Altnagelvin Hospital.
Ethan Deery and his grandfather Neil present pictures to staff at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Ethan Deery, 18, who is studying the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design at NWRC’s Strand Road Campus, said he wanted to make an animation that reflected not only his grandfather Neil McCafferty’s stay in hospital, but also how difficult it was for his family not to visit him.

His animation will now be showcased as part of NWRC’s end of year showcase by the Art and Design department.

Ethan said: “When you look back at last year, it seems really crazy and no -one expected the things that went on to happen. My Grandad was in ICU with Covid-19 and it was a very difficult time for everyone. My animation shows both sides of this, the patient and medics in hospital, and the families on the other side. Thankfully my Granda has made a complete recovery and I’ve been able to show him my work. The family all loved it and it’s even more special to them because it’s such a personal story.”

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Ethan, who is already an award-winning animator, first became interested in Art & Design when he was 13 and began drawing his own illustrations. “At first I drew football teams and they started to get noticed, then I was commissioned to design posters. From there I developed an interest in making my illustrations move and I loved learning Moving Image Art at School. I came to NWRC two years ago from St Columb’s College and it has been a great two years. I hope now to move on to further study and hopefully a career in animation.”

Recently, Ethan was asked by his grandfather Neil if he would create some special illustrations for the staff and carers at the hospitals which cared for him. The pair then visited the hospital together to hand over the illustrations.

Neil Boyle, Lecturer in Art and Design at NWRC said: “Ethan Deery is a magnificent artist with a fantastic work ethic. The work he has put in to creating the animation is nothing short of exceptional. Given the very difficult year that has just passed I think everyone can relate to the story he has told through his animation. However, at the heart of it is a very a personal story and I think that is why this animation in particular is so special.”

You can access all the work at

You can watch Ethan’s animation at