Paul Digby: Intensive Care.

This project celebrates and showcases the NHS and what the people who have worked on the frontline of the public sector during and after the pandemic have been fighting for; for people to live.

The exhibition consists of drawings and sculptures of ICU ward nurses, doctors, facilities and administrative staff during and after the pandemic made by Leeds based artist Paul Digby.

The sculptures were cast using plaster, polymer, fibreglass and pigments. 

The drawings are made from graphite on paper.

The paintings are made from gouache on paper.

The True Faith Project

Working with the Baltic Gallery in Newcastle in 2022 and basing the workshop on the costumes in the True Faith Video by New Order choreographed by Phillippe Decoufle. Families were invited to create costumes using card board, tape, fabrics and found materials.

The Grimshaw Project

This project was a collaboration with myself, Leeds Art Gallery and Scarborough Art Gallery. I worked within their community engagement remits with schools and youth groups. We identified location sites portrayed by Victorian Leeds born painter Atkinson Grimshaw and photographed them today. Paul then manipulated the image on photoshop and projected the outline on to a wall and panels which were then completed by participants.

Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds Art Gallery
Scarborough Art Gallery
Scarborough Art Gallery
Scarborough Art Gallery

Looking to the future

Film of Emily talking about the sculpture and project.

Paul Digby: Looking to the Future.

The sculpture was made during the pandemic and features a St James Hospital ICU ward nurse called Emily who started nursing in January 2020. The Leeds based artist Paul Digby worked with Emily to create the sculpture and the statue celebrates the hard work made by all frontline staff during the pandemic. The original clay model was made with the figure looking into the future which is the works title. The sculpture is made from fibreglass, plaster, pigment and resin and was funded by the public with approximately £20,000 raised. 

Poem about the sculpture by Ian McMillan entitled ART:

If caring is an art, then

She is art. She held

Those last breaths in her hands,

She left her smile

In the empty air

For someone to catch.

She turned up

As the world turned and

Turned again. She was there

When hope’s lights

Flickered and almost failed

And the long night ended

And a new day began.

Transcending the figure


This project was led by Paul Digby from between 2016 and 2019. During this period Paul worked with the emergency services drawing and sculpting them in classical poses. The project involved a series of collaborations with different community groups including schools, universities, galleries and museums. Part of the original concept and intention was to celebrate the front line of the public sector.

As well as the sculptures and drawings Paul delivered a series of workshops to Shakespeare Primary school and the COOP Academy secondary school in Leeds, as well as Lionwood Infants school in Norwich. The children created a small clay figurative sculpture each. 

All the work including the 700 figures made in schools were displayed in Norwich, Sheffield, Manchester, York and North Lincolnshire. There were a series of lectures in Leeds, York, Norwich, Manchester, North Lincolnshire and other places throughout the UK.

There was an art and education seminar held in Leeds Beckett University in 2018 with another event in 2019. 

Film link about the project.

Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle


A community engagement project for the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle delivering a series of workshops, exhibitions and discussions with community groups visiting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Hepworth and the Henry Moore Institute.

Partners included AXIS, Leeds Beckett University student volunteers and the Workers Education Association.

Film link about the project.

Portraits of Emotions


A series of paintings and drawings of people expressing emotions of joy, anger and sadness.

Paul delivered a series of portrait drawing workshops within Leeds primary and secondary schools, including volunteer Fine Art Student coordination.

Interviews with the portrait participants were conducted by Dr. Paula Boston.

There was a final exhibition and talk held at The Tetley in 2015. The work was also shown in University of Leeds School of Medicine, ESA Union 105 and Warren Street Pop up space and Munroe House Gallery.

The work is permanently on display in Leeds City Council buildings.

For info about the project.

Film link about the project.

Film link about the workshop delivered alongside the show.



This life size sculpture was made from styrofoam, plaster, paint and epoxy resin. Paul exhibited the finished piece in the Saatchi Gallery and Manchester Contemporary. The work is held in a private collection.

Collaboration with