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Transcending the Figure (material-process-object) - a celebration of the front line of the public sector by artist Paul Digby

15th - 30th June 2019

A celebration of the front line of the public sector; this exhibition is part of a three year project, 2016 - 2019, by artist Paul Digby Paul who worked with the emergency services drawing and sculpting them in classical poses. These classical poses highlight the heroic nature of his subjects, statuesque and isolated from context like a Greek God or Roman Emperor. In contrast the individual subjects see themselves as just ordinary people going about their work.

‘’Paul Digby’s drawings of public sector workers are truly remarkable. Each one takes around four months to compose. Four months of meticulous attention to the technical equipment, uniform, posture, embodiment and facial expressions, not of land owners, or of CEOs, or even celebrities but of public sector workers in the emergency services. Paul Digby’s art calls out and celebrates and is an act of devotion ... to the people who work every day to save our lives and our homes, the people whose rewarding work makes them fit only for pay and job cuts in the age of austerity’’


Ruth Holliday (2019),

Professor of Gender and Culture, University of Leeds

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The project has also involved a series of collaborations with different community groups including schools, universities, galleries and museums. The exhibition incorporates small clay figurative sculptures made by children who attended school workshops.

At Saul Hay Gallery we are very pleased to be part of this collaborative and accessible project. It is a subject close to the heart of Co-Director Catherine Hay who previously worked in the NHS for almost 30 years.

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