Competition now closed


This competition has now closed. But you can see the winning piece and the further commisioned artwork here.

Competition details


Competition now closed.

The European Lung Foundation teamed up with Andrew McIvor from the Firestone Institute of Respiratory Health to deliver an art competition focused on women with COPD.

Frank Netter was a doctor in the late 1930s who drew life-like images to teach medical students anatomy. He produced a famous set of images of men with chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Despite the value of these images to the medical world, there is very little representation of women with COPD and we are eager to change this. We hoped that this competition would not only bring awareness of women’s health but also provide a series of images that can, like Netter’s, be used for generations.

Any artists who entered the competition were provided with testimonies, images and videos from women with COPD to provide insight into the female experience of this disease. We are asked for one piece which could be developed using any medium: photography, pencil drawings, painting, digitally created etc.

After the deadline closed, the judges chose their top five submissions. These five images were shared online throughout the ELF and ERS channels, including with the attendees of the Virtual ERS International Congress. These five images were voted on and the winner was announced on World Lung day on the 25 September 2020.

The winner of the competition will receive a €5,000 prize which has been generously donated by the McIvor Medicine Professional Corporation. They have been commissioned to create a series of images of women with respiratory disease which will be unveiled in 2021.

Isabel Saraiva, who was the chair of the European Lung Foundation and is a woman with COPD made it a priority to improve the representation of women with respiratory disease. She feels that; “This competition is a tribute to all women who are often forgotten in their specific medical conditions, respiratory or otherwise.”

Meet the judges


Isabel Saraiva - profile image
Isabel Saraiva

Isabel Saraiva was born in Portugal in 1949. She holds a degree in Economics, and post-graduate degrees in Association Executive Management, Business Administration and Social and Solidary Economics. Until 2007 she was Executive Director of Apifarma-The Portuguese Pharmaceutical Trade Association.

In 2006 she was diagnosed with COPD. Isabel has been an active advocate for people with respiratory diseases and has been Vice-President of RESPIRA (Portuguese Association of People with COPD and other Chronic Respiratory Diseases), she has been a member of the Board of EFA (European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations, Brussels), and the chair of the European Lung Foundation for the last 3 years.

During her term as the chair of ELF, Isabel has been passionate about improving the care and representation of women with lung disease, especially COPD.


Elaine Phillpot Bruce - profile image
Elaine Phillpot Bruce

Originally from New Ross, Southern Ireland. Elaine left Ireland at 17 and moved to the UK where she has lived for 35 years (mainly Chester). Married; Elaine has 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Elaine was diagnosed with COPD in 2009 when she says her whole life turned upside down. This was later followed by a brain hemorrhage which resulted in being dismissed from her job. In 2015 she returned to Ireland to be closer to family. In 2018 “a brilliant doctor” recommended Elaine for pulmonary rehabilitation; this helped her so much that Elaine chose to run a COPD support group for people with breathing issues in County Wexford. The group has been such a success it was nominated for at SECH award in 2019.

Elaine enjoys gardening, decorating and photography. She also knits for premature babies at the hospital where her granddaughter died in Liverpool.


Samira Addo - profile image
Samira Addo

Samira Addo is a self-taught portrait artist based in London. Her style is considered as contemporary realism and she has had experience studying under artists such as Nathan Ford and Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco at The Art Academy. Samira’s paintings have been described as ‘capturing an energy’- Kate Bryan and ‘magic’ – Tai Shan Schierenberg. Her work forms part of collections worldwide including at the Walker Art Gallery and London Fashion and Textile museum. Samira’s work largely reflects themes she has an association with, from close friends and family to countries travelled. Key to her work is capturing an essence of the subject, whether that be through facial expressions and posture or colour palette and textures, in predominantly oil on canvas. Recently she has collaborated with ‘Centre for Advanced Training (CAT)’ at ‘The Place’ and exhibited at ‘The Other Art Fair’.


Sara Lavelle - profile image
Sara Lavelle

Drawing upon a fascination with psychology and philosophy my work predominantly focuses on portrait painting and figuration. Since graduating with a first class honours from the University of Brighton I work as a full-time artist based in London and Bristol. In the last year I have been a finalist for the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year Award 2019, exhibited within the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2019 and was commissioned by the University of Cambridge McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research to create a portrait of Dorothy Garrod, the first woman to hold an Oxbridge chair. I have recently finished working with Channel 4 for a documentary series about body positivity in which I both painted and interviewed sitters with physical differences. My work has been bought into collections such as Soho House, Grange Park Opera and Cheltenham Ladies College. My paintings have been selected for a number of publications including BBC News, Wallpaper*, and Artists & Illustrators. I have been chosen to take part in a number of international residencies this year such as Dogo Residenz für Neue Kunst and am working towards exhibitions such as ‘Painting Now’ held at London Atelier of Representational Art. My nature is that of inquiry of people; their motivations, their feelings, their thoughts, what is known and unknown. This constantly inspires me to observe, paint, and seek to understand.


Colin Davidson - profile image
Colin Davidson

Colin Davidson is a contemporary artist. Since 2010 his focus has been on painting grand scale portraits, which have won widespread recognition and many international awards. His portrait sitters have included President Bill Clinton, HM The Queen, Brad Pitt, Ed Sheeran and Liam Neeson. In December 2015 he was commissioned by TIME Magazine to paint the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for the cover for its ‘Person of the Year’ issue. His critically acclaimed exhibition ‘Silent Testimony’, which reveals the stories of eighteen people who are connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles, was first shown at the Ulster Museum Belfast during 2015, before embarking on a tour which included the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, Dublin Castle and the United Nations NYC.


Tobias Welte - profile image
Tobias Welte

Tobias Welte is Professor of Pulmonary Medicine and Director of the Department of Pulmonary and Infectious Diseases at Hannover University School of Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

Professor Welte is the Past President of the European Respiratory Society and of the German Society of Pneumology. He leads a multicentre research group focusing on the epidemiology, diagnosis and management of respiratory infections and the pathophysiology and treatment of obstructive airway disease. He has published around 800 papers in peer-reviewed journals and contributed to chapters in over 150 books.


Andrew McIvor - profile image
Andrew McIvor

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Prof. McIvor qualified with an honours degree from Queens University Belfast in 1984. He moved to Canada 30 years ago and obtained postgraduate training in Respirology at the University of Toronto and training in clinical epidemiology and asthma research at McMaster University. Andrew is based in the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at McMaster University. He has over 150 peer reviewed publications. He chaired the Canadian Thoracic Committee on Asthma and has served as an examiner for the Respirology Fellowship exams in Canada. His major clinical and research interests are in COPD, asthma, and pulmonary infections. He has been a major advocate for smoking cessation and adult vaccines.

Andrew has a passion for popular culture and enjoys live music, and the arts. He freely admits however, that his skills as an artist have not developed since the age of 3.


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