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Fishink in Liverpool. Julie Arkell at the Bluecoat Gallery. The Walker Art Gallery.

May 10, 2012

I had a fabulous art filled day in Liverpool. Starting off at the Bluecoat, collecting some work for a friend from the Gallery shop. As usual, I was pleased to find such a great array of stunning craft pieces. Tucked away at the back was a fantastic display of  the papier-mache figures by Julie Arkell. This Exhibition is only on until  May 12th so hurry!

Photo from

Julie says ” I’ve always been very attracted to the idea of a ‘really rural’ life without ever having lived in the countryside. At the end of last year I spent a few months in a village in Somerset. No shops, cafes, museums or libraries nearby, quite unlike what I’ve been used to all my life.

I love to walk, so each day I would venture down muddy tracks and across fields. The changing skies, animals, apple trees, bracken and berries were a constant source of enjoyment and comfort. I would bring back things from these outings that most pleased me, some more like treasure than others. An empty birds nest found lying on the ground was my most prized find. Now back in London, surrounded by buildings again, I walk on pavements and ‘dust the farmyard.”

Julie studied for a degree in Textiles at West Surrey College of Art and Design and then a diploma in Fashion Textiles at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. She combines stitch, knit, ephemera, vintage fabric and papier mache in her own distinctly personal way. Everything is produced by hand using knitted adornments, curious accessories, ribbons and found objects.

I love her idea of knitted shadows for the trees below.

She has exhibited across the UK in a number of galleries and has work included in the collection at the Arts and Heritage Centre in Rochdale. Ruthin Craft Centre’s bestselling book ‘Home’ featuring Julie’s work is now in it’s third reprint ! I noticed there we’re some left at the Bluecoat if you hurry. (Text taken from the Bluecoat exhibition)

If you like Julie’s work, you may also appreciate the creations of fellow papier mache artist Vanessa Cabban (as shown above). Here are some other pieces I liked at The Bluecoat Gallery Shop.

I love the small garden square. It’s an oasis, I remember escaping to, from the madness of the city centre. It still holds a calm feeling for me.

We then headed over to the Walker Art Gallery for a little more traditional art. Some of my favourites live there.

After recently visiting Eskdale I loved the above painting, which had been created there.

A little ceramics ..

A little humour …

And a final great cup of coffee and a home made cake from The Egg Cafe, mmm well worth a visit.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2012 3:54 pm

    thats really cool, and original

    • May 10, 2012 4:15 pm

      Julie’s work is great to see ‘in the flesh’ as it were. There’s an odd sense of something familiar about it. Thanks for your comment Vasare.

  2. sarah permalink
    May 10, 2012 8:33 pm

    Well I never, i have just been enjoying Vanessa Cabban,s blog and came across one of the books she illustrated :The Pigs Knickers (Walker Books 2010)
    Recently I spent a most enjoyable time reading a huge selection of childrens illustrated books in an attempt to choose ONLY TWO as a present. WOW it was a hard task……but two stood out, and yes this was one of them. It is a lovely witty book……oh i wish my little boy was still young enough to want this book at bedtime. Think it would have become on of his favourites.
    Vanessa’s work is amazing…..lots to see on her website too.

    • May 10, 2012 8:51 pm

      Quite a catchy title I’d say lol. Glad her work created such a reply. Thanks for the comment and info Sarah

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