Paul Digby: material-process-object
Tuesday 26 March – Saturday 6 April 2019
East GalleryNUA. Free entry: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5pm
This exhibition documents a public project led by the artist and alumnus Paul Digby between 2016 and 2019. During this period, Digby worked with individuals from the emergency services, including police and fire officers, paramedics and coastguards to create drawings and sculptures that attempt visual parallels with classical sculpture.
This personal collaboration between the artist and the individuals led to works that emerged from the exchange of true stories from the professions; hybrid figures of the everyday human and the heroic, and a celebration of the men and women at the front line of the public sector.
In the same way, Digby’s ongoing work with a range of community groups over the same period highlights engagement as a necessary impetus behind his work, and shows the benefits of collaborative art practice as a vital tool for the practicing artist, and in art therapy for societal wellbeing.
Working with schools, universities, galleries and museums in each iteration of the project, Digby has created a spiral display of over 700 clay figures which grows with each workshop during of the project. On display in the gallery, the spiral includes approximately 160 figures made with children at Lionwood Infant and Nursery School, Norwich, in February this year. The exhibition is supported with a free two hour gallery workshop.
Paul Digby is an alumni of Norwich University of the Arts, completing his BA in Visual Studies in 1997. East GalleryNUA are pleased to support and present this initiative and exhibition.
“Perhaps it is by no accident of timing that artist Paul Digby has recently adopted a focus on our emergency services within his artistic practice. A body of new work in drawing and figurative sculpture has emerged over the last three years through the relationships that the artist has developed with individuals working within the police, fire, paramedic and coastal services.”
Kerry Harker (2019), Founder and Artistic Director of East Leeds Project, and Co-founder of The Tetley