Juliet MacDonald – Leverhulme Artist in Residence

Composite image by Juliet MacDonald

Composite image based on canvas bag in the Liddle Collection.
Photograph: Juliet MacDonald

Between October 2014 and June 2015, Dr Juliet MacDonald is Leverhulme Artist in Resident at the University of Leeds.


Juliet MacDonald’s artwork in response to First World War archive material held in the University’s Liddle Collection is on display in the Education Room, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds from 23 June to 22 August 2015, Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm. Follow this link for further information or contact the Gallery: Tel: 0113-343 3278, Email: gallery@leeds.ac.uk.

Artist’s Talk

On 12 May 2015, Juliet MacDonald gave a talk about contemporary artistic responses to the centenary of the First World War and her own work in this context. Her contribution was one of eight public lectures at Leeds Art Gallery dedicated to the impact and legacies of the First World War on art and artists, most of whom with a Yorkshire connection. An audio recording of MacDonald’s talk can be accessed by following this link.

Participatory Workshops

During her residency, Juliet MacDonald led three drawing workshops, one in collaboration with a practising psychotherapist. In the workshops, participants with and without drawing experience were encouraged to engage with documents and artefacts from the Liddle Collection. Together with the artist they explored the purpose, form and materiality of collection items through copying, drawing and writing. Discussions about individual pieces and the challenges and insights related to their representation revealed how this kind of attention brings the historical archive to life in a particular way. By looking at 100-year-old drawings and watercolours from the war years, workshop participants also reflected on the connection between observing, art making and resilience.

Leverhulme Artist’s Residency

The residency was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and based on a joint application by Claudia Sternberg, Legacies of War, and artist Juliet MacDonald. The Trust supports “the residency of an individual artist in a UK university or museum in order to foster a creative collaboration between the artist and the staff and/or students of that institution. […] The scheme brings an artist into a research and study environment where their artistic form or creative art is not part of the normal curriculum or activities of the host department.” (Leverhulme Trust website)


The following images have been taken by Claudia Sternberg unless otherwise stated. If you wish to showcase any of the photographs, please get in touch with c.sternberg@leeds.ac.uk.

The items that were drawn in the workshop sessions belong to the Liddle Collection at the University of Leeds. The Collection is open to the public. If you would like to view items, arrange a group visit or plan a drawing/creative writing workshop, please get in touch with Special Collections.

Workshop 1 Drawing Objects from the First World War, Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds (31 January 2015). Artwork shown is by the workshop participants.

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Workshop 2 Legacies of War Historians Draw with Juliet MacDonald, Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds (3 February 2015)

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Workshop 3 Creativity and Resilience in the First World War, Brotherton Room, University of Leeds Brotherton Library (21 March 2015). Artwork shown is by the workshop participants.

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