Earlier this year Arts & Minds worked with Leeds Art Gallery, selecting a series of artworks from their collection. They met fortnightly with curators and the Art Doctors for support and inspiration, just as covid restrictions were relaxed. For many this was their first time back in the gallery for over a year, and a welcome introduction back into a creative space.

At each session a curator introduced artworks following the theme of nature. They were used as a stimulus for discussion, and the Art Doctors facilitated the sharing of ideas and techniques that could be used to respond to the artwork. Some participants brought along work they had created between sessions and used the group for feedback and advice.

This page celebrates the project and features some of the work they created, which is currently on display in Artspace.


Arts & Minds have produced a series of films where participants share their experiences of the project, and how the following artworks inspired their own practice.

Veronica Ryan

Untitled ( From the series Lamentations in the Garden), 2001.

Lamentations in the Garden, is a series in which Veronica Ryan altered a family photograph of herself and her sister standing in the family’s back garden in London, overpainting and concealing parts of the image, photography offered a route to the artist to explore the trauma of memory.

A Veronica Ryan artwork showing black and white photographs of two sisters

Andy Goldsworthy

Lines to follow colour changes in leaves, 1981-82.

A series of six portrait-format colour Cibachrome photographic prints, printed on one sheet, showing lines of leaves, laid on the ground, following sequential colour formations. This is one of a small number of works that Goldsworthy made between 1980 and 1982 in the woodlands in Yorkshire and Cumbria near Ilkley, Bentham and Brough.

Goldsworthy photographs in a light wood frame


You can view our exhibition in Leeds Art Gallery’s Artspace until 31 January 2022, during regular gallery opening hours. Learn more about the artists and what inspired their practice below.

An intricate detail of a sketched face with red stitching set against a light wood background


Inspired by the environment and the natural world, Mindy collects images of a subject, creating a typology in the process. She is interested in macro photography and looking for the details in an object, this method of photography gets her closer than the naked eye can see. She photographs her houseplants, learning about their every pore, vein, spike, and colour, this intimacy brings her closer to the plants.


Inspired by Robert Bevan’s painting titled ‘Dunnes Cottage’ which shows a lone figure tending the gardens around the estate, it was this scene that reminded Sandy of other artists that have lived and created work together in beautiful rural settings unencumbered by daily chores. This lone figure and others like him, will have played an important role in creating and maintaining these idyllic environments. The work puts the ‘lone figure’ centre stage as a reminder to acknowledge those who support others to follow their dreams and achieve their potential.

Stitched artworks hung on a green painted wall


The wild flower meadow at one of the National Trust properties inspired this oil pastel and embroidery. When Marlene was little she loved to draw but in the early 1950’s money was short and an HB pencil didn’t make much impression on poor quality shiny paper. One day at school she was introduced to the wonderful colours of pastels and stole one!  Since then she has always enjoyed drawing, painting, art history and crafts.

A man is pictured sat inside the Ziff Gallery playing a musical instrument


Leeds based musician and mental health activist, as the only musician taking part in the ‘Behind the Scenes’ project, Dave put together an EP of new tongue drum music under The Phoenix Project. Simply called ‘The Gallery’, the EP is directly inspired by this project at Leeds Art Gallery. It aims to capture various emotions surrounding a return to the gallery and a reaction to the variety of art on display.

You can listen to Dave’s sound files below or view the videos via Youtube.

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