Art Tutor - Julie James Turner

Over the past few years, the Creative Arts Workshops have grown and developed into three really enthusiastic groups with lots of ambitions to learn more art skills and gain knowledge. We aim to encourage students to nurture their own artistic talents to make original and expressive artwork. The students always get really involved with each theme and art project, bringing in library books, photographs and images, so encouraging group discussions, which promotes further interest and engagement, as well as enriching the learning experience. We are always looking for new ways and opportunities to develop and progress and make further links with the local and wider community.

(Please click on any image to enlarge)

April 2020

During this unprecedented period of lockdown due to Covid19 the creative arts groups have connected with the art tutor and with other students online and have received art projects with instructions through the post. Students have continued their theme “This Is Me” and have created amazing expressions of self-reflection recording their experience of this difficult time through art. Their artwork will be regularly exhibited in a virtual gallery on Instagram and Facebook. (Click on the links below)

Instagram; #learningstarsthisisme

Facebook; Learning Stars Creative Arts


Our 1960s theme inspired Claus Oldenburg style sculptures ‘upscaling the ordinary’. Students created huge oversize domestic objects which are currently hanging in Skelmersdale Library. The main theme of this year running through all workshops was “This Is Me”. A celebration of our students lives, hopes and dreams. Students have explored several versions of self-portraits. Creating fantasy and dream self-portraits and themselves depicted with an animal daemon portraying their inner selves.


This year we started the year off with our biggest art project to date “Out of the Shadows” inspired by WW1 centenary. This ran from the previous year and culminated in an exciting exhibition shown across Ormskirk town centre and The Chapel Gallery. The workshops sessions came together to show a thought-provoking event, in which the art students also created an interactive back drop. A small group of students were also involved in a textile project creating art garments that commented on women’s unique roles during WW1.

Later this year we were involved in scientific led themes working with the Welcome Trust. Students created ceramic bones, textile organs, explored the senses through scientific experiments, and created amazing recycled crafts.

Exhibitions; Out of the shadows Ormskirk Town Centre, Chapel Gallery Ormskirk, Arthouse Gallery Southport, Skelmersdale Library

Study visits; Liverpool Life Museum, Atkinson Art Gallery


The Creative Arts Workshop groups really enjoyed designing and creating stitched trees for the “stitch a tree Forest” exhibition in the Whitworth Gallery Manchester in Autumn 2018 to highlight the plight of refugees.

This was a great source of discussion that linked with the main theme for this academic year WW1. We spent months researching WW1 and created amazing artwork; ceramic poppies, memorial poppy dog masks, embroidered postcards and up scaled poppy sculptures.

Exhibitions; Arthouse Gallery Southport, Skelmersdale Library

Study visits; Liverpool Life Museum, Atkinson Art Gallery


During this year we were involved in several exciting projects, but our biggest success was creating a wall hanging which was submitted for “Inspired by” a national competition by the V & A online museum collection. The wall hanging won 1st prize in the textiles and fashion category and was exhibited in the Morley Gallery London, as well as the Chapel Gallery Ormskirk and The Atkinson Gallery Southport. Two other artworks were also created that are permanently displayed in our local community. A beautiful large mosaic was a collaborative work made by students. Each student made a mosaic tile that focused on local wild flora. The large mosaic is situated in the courtyard of the E Rooms music and arts venue in Skelmersdale. Courtfield Lodge Nursing Home in Ormskirk is another site of collaborative artworks made by students, in the form of textile sensory quilts created to provide interactive wall hangings for the nursing home residents.

Exhibitions; Morley Gallery London, Arthouse Gallery Southport, Atkinson Gallery Southport

Study visits; Liverpool World Museum, Liverpool Library, Atkinson Art Gallery,


“Field to Fabric” was a large project involving other WEA groups across the region working together to create a display at the Royal Horticultural Show in Tatton Hall Cheshire. Our garden display won a bronze award! We went on to win an Award for Innovation from the WEA too! Our groups researched the history of the Lancashire cotton mills and created two large apron banners depicting local history, along with two further apron banners using college techniques to recreate industrial landscapes in the style of two Lancashire artists; Lowery and Major.
We also created a flock of birds and some mammals using sculptural techniques.  
Exhibitions; The Atkinson Art Gallery & Arthouse Gallery Southport and RHS Tatton Hall.
Study visits; Queen Street Mill, Helmshore Mill, Liverpool World Museum, Liverpool Library, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Atkinson Art Gallery, Liverpool Maritine Museum, Manchester Museum of science and industry and the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.  


Students explored local natural history; flora and fauna. In partnership with Lancashire Museums our theme was “Gardens of Delight”. We created a textile book illustrating, plants and their natural dyes with the butterflies, moths and insects that live and feed on them which we exhibited at the Harrogate Knit & Stitch Show. The pages became part of a bigger book that is currently used as a museum resource for schools and colleges.
We also explored self portraits gaining inspiration from Andy Warhol’s prints, we exhibited these in the Arthouse Gallery Southport. 
Exhibitions; The Knit & Stitch Show Harrogate, The Arthouse Gallery Southport and Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Libraries.
Study visits; Queen Street Mill, Liverpool World Museum, The Harris Museum, Liverpool Library, Blackpool Butterfly Palace, Blackpool Zoo and the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.


The theme of ‘Lines of Enquiry- Ties to the past’ was our inspiration. This theme was designed to integrate active research learning with “hands on” art workshops and critical enquiry, which linked to a partnership with Lancashire museums and galleries. We took the Home Front period of the 1940s during WW11 as our focus, from museum exhibitions loan boxes and archives. This culminated in a performance and exhibition event at Helmshore Mill Museum in June 2013. 
Study visits; Museum of Lancashire, Liverpool World Museum, Museum of Liverpool Life, Manchester Museum of science & industry, The Pier Masters House, Liverpool Maritine Museum and the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool. 


Students created a textile book with each page depicting their favourite artists work. It was exhibited in the Harris Open Art Exhibition of 2012.