DOVA is an acute mental health inpatient unit at Dane Garth in Barrow. It provides services for people with mental health needs.

Come January 6, and artwork by two former Dova inpatients, Sharon Tait and Tim Leeson, goes on display in Art from the Inside.

Running at Natterjacks, Ulverston, until February 28, the exhibition is influenced by the gifted artists' time at the unit and also features work by former Dova staff member turned professional painter Ivor Sexton.

Sharon was a Dova unit inpatient from April until July, and her photographs are a candid insight into her time on the ward: "A psychiatric ward was the last place I ever wanted to be," explained Sharon. "I had fought for years not to go on the ward without the ability to rationalise to realise it was the place I needed to be."

Sharon's work challenges preconceived ideas about the ward environment and the people on it. She also used her time on the ward to create murals on the ward to create a better environment to patients and staff alike.

Tim - who has mental health problems for 25 years - said, "It's a battle I can't win but I'm slowly learning to live with it. This is due to the amazing care I received off nurses, doctors and activities coordinator Ivor Sexton.

"My work can be hard hitting but it's the truth. I sometimes paint pretty pictures but pretty is not my story.

Tim added that the exhibition will be a mixture of photography, painting and drawing and hopefully will change attitudes towards how psychiatric patients are seen: "We don't rock in chairs all day long not doped up to the eyeballs. We are sensitive people with feelings and purpose."

Ivor Sexton now lives and works as a professional artist in Scotland. He is internationally renowned artist with recent exhibitions held in Switzerland and London. His work is hyper realism with a real power. There is also complex symbolism in his work which unravels the story.

Tim says that in his past role at Dane Garth, Ivor was respected for his professionalism, great sense of humour and his ability to get patients creating.

Natterjacks is located at 34 Queen Street, and open Monday to Friday 5pm-10pm.