Paul Digby: Looking to the Future.

The sculpture on display was made during the pandemic and features an ICU ward nurse called Emily who started nursing in January 2020. The Leeds based artist Paul Digby worked with Emily to create the sculpture. The sculpture 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. It was funded by the public with over £10,000 raised. The clay model was cast using fibreglass, pigment, resin and plaster.  

The sculpture will tour Leeds community centres, Leeds City Museum and St James Hospital Atrium Gallery during 2023. With a launch event on International Nurses Day in Leeds City Museum.

The poem on display was written by Barnsley poet Ian McMillan about the sculpture.

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.

by Ian McMillan
Project supporters:  Basement Arts, Dartura, Leeds City Council, Leeds Museums, Leeds Phil. and Lit. Society, Leeds 23, Jonathan Turner, The Woods, The Old Red Bus Station, Leftbank Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Thackray Museum of Medicine and Legacy Habitat Management.

For more information please go to or follow Paul on social media @pj.digby or @DigbyPaul.