Kirkby Gallery (free admittance) is one of the best contemporary art galleries in Merseyside and the North West of England. The gallery presents a broad and ambitious programme of exhibitions, which draws upon collections from the Arts Council Collection, Hayward Touring, National Trust and multiple regional partner and galleries. Knowsley’s Annual Open Exhibitions, schools, and community arts projects are additionally core to much of what the gallery offers also, along with a varied offer of art courses. Knowsley Council also works in partnership with other arts agencies to deliver exhibitions such as Liverpool Biennial and pan-Merseyside projects, as part of the city region.


18th Knowsley Open Art Exhibition

11 February to 4 May 2019

The Knowsley Open annually showcases visual art created by artists 18 years old or over who live, work, volunteer or study in the borough of Knowsley.

The Young Artists Open is for artists under 18 years old and celebrates and presents the work of young and emerging creatives. Look out for the coloured artwork labels which indicate the young artists in the exhibition.

This year, an 'Open Affordable Art Auction' is being held at the end of the exhibition. This is a fundraising event with proceeds from the auction being donated to the 'Friends of Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum' group. Adam Partridge (from Flog It, Bargain Hunt and Cash in the Attic) will be the celebrity auctioneer!

In an auction, a commission fee is normally paid to the auction house. For the Open Affordable Art Auction, the commission will go to our charitable fund, the Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum. The commission will be a percentage of the final sale price - so whatever a buyer bids, that will be the price they pay.

The Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum gives those with an interest in the arts the opportunity to support the purchase of new works for the collection and further develop the offer of both Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum whilst enjoying the benefits of its service.

The auction is on Thursday 9 May 2019 from 5pm to 8pm at Kirkby Gallery.
Refreshments will be provided along with free parking. This is an RSVP event only - please let the galleries team know if you would like to attend by emailing galleries@knowsley.gov.uk or calling 0151 443 5617.

Read more about the exhibition and enter.

Gray Mused

11 February to 4 May 2019

"I have always sketched pop stars. Growing up, music, celebrity and pop culture was everywhere, as it still is now.

Being inspired by artists and icons associated or involved in the pop art movement was unavoidable. Images such as Andy Warhol's depiction of Marilyn Manroe, David Hockney's Bigger Splash and the general over-saturated use of colur which is a constant throughout pop art imagery, are what inspires me in all aspects of my creativity. 

Inherent in pop art and my work is immediacy, the use of everyday products and quick manufacturing processes makes the subject mayyer accessible to all. I use lots of photographic media such as Fujifilm Instax film as well as digital photography, through to old/expired polaroids, which is a medium that I grew up using.

Having studied graphic/illustration design at Cardonald College in Glasgow, my practice developed into exploring pop art elements, colours and image manipulation.Dipping images into paint, digital re-colouring photographs and applying collaged additions are recurring techniques, which allow me to emphasise characteristics and stories that take the image on a new journey and one which enables me to apply my own identity to which is becoming increasingly recognisable across my portfolio.

I have exhibited in a number of groups, shows and galleries across the North West and also previously, was a member of 'Road Studios' in Liverpool, however, this is my first solo exhibition presenting both the sources of my inspiration to my very last works."

Graham Johnson's work will be on display in the corridor space in Kirkby Gallery - at the same time as the Open Art Exhibition.

Northern Stone and Peat Smoke

20 May to 31 August 2019

Kirkby Gallery is delighted to present this new and never-before-seen exhibition, Northern Stone and Peat Smoke, by artist Anthony Ratcliffe.

Anthony is now a full-time printmaker afer many years lecturing at Manchester School of Art. He has prints in many public and private collections including The British Council, the Parliamentary Art Collection, Manchester Airport, Manchester Royal Infirmary and MMU Special Collections.

Anthony works from drawings and material collected on-site, and has travelled extensively around Britain documenting remote landscape - particularly the way it shows evidence of past and usage, geology, and archaeology. He also researches literary descriptions and historical associations. All the woodcut prints are hand printed in small editions and the artist works from a studio in Mossley overlooking the Dark Peak National Park.

Recent projects across the North of England have included 'Broken Ground', 'Rain Stone and Rust' and 'Shoreline and Watershed'. have included book art, watercolours and poetry as well as large woodcut prints. This is the second exhibition by Anthony in Knowsley, having shown his 'Shoreline and Watershed' exhibition in Huyton Gallery in 2013.

This exhibition and collection of recent work has involved the artist exploring remote landscape, in many cases using contemporary poetry and text as a way of focusing on specific locations and features in more hidden parts of Northern Britain. 

The work records physical landscape and its relationship with flora, fauna and seasonal elements including the recent moorland fire damage. The show will contain large woodcut prints, watercolours, drawings and sketchbooks as well as material illustrating the technical print process used.

The woodcut prints are complex compositions in many colours and each one takes weeks of work to complete.

For this collection of work, the artist has explored the North West coast of Scotland, the Scottish island of Rum, the North Yorkshire Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, Coniston slate mines and the Pennine hills near where he lives and has a studio. 

There is a preview event for teaching staff on Thursday 16 May 2019 from 3.45pm to 4.30pm and a private event from 4.30pm to 6.30pm

If you would like to attend either of these preview events, please RSVP to Tina Ball by calling 0151 443 5617 or email tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk 

Made on Merseyside

27 September to 16 November 2019

Kirkby Gallery will be hosting an exhibition this year celebrating industry in the local area - the goods produced here and the people who made them, sharing the stories of businesses large and small, past and present.

Did you, or anyone you know, work at the any of the following places?

  • Tinling's 

  • Bludell's Files

  • Huntley and Palmer

  • Bryant and May

  • Hornby Meccano

  • Bird's Eye

  • Connolly's

  • Contract Chemicals

  • Amazon Studios

  • Royal Ordnance Factory

  • Leather Satchel Company

  • Lancashire Watch Company

  • Tushingham's

  • BICC

  • Ford

  • Cronton Colliery

  • Whiston Colliery

  • English Electric

  • Jaguar Land Rover 

Please let us know if there is another company that you think could be highlighted.

Do you have any photos or footage of your colleagues, factory, workshop etc.? Or any examples of products, promotional materials, uniforms or tools that Kirkby Gallery could borrow for the exhibition?

If you are interested in being involved in the Made on Merseyside exhibition at Kirkby Gallery, please contact Tina Ball on 0151 443 5617 or email tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk by Friday 31 May 2019

Thank you!

Children's drawing and sculpture classes

child drawing with a pencilSaturdays, 10.30am to 12.30pm

These fun and creative courses provide fun and structured introductions to drawings and sculpture using a wide range of media and methods.

The gallery's friendly tutors will demonstrate a new task each week and will be on hand to answer any questions, and provide support and guidance. The tutors will encourage children to look at things in a selective way and improve their skills to record their observations.

These workshops are suitable for children aged eight to 13.

Drawing courses are £30 per child and sculpture courses are £40 which is payable at the first of the eight workshops.
The cost includes all of the materials the children need and entry into the annual Knowsley Open Art Exhibition, should they wish to enter. This could be their first experience of a public exhibition.

There is a rolling programme of art courses so get in touch to find out the upcoming dates and to book.

To enquire or book, please contact Tina Ball on tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk or call 443 5617

Opening tim​es

Kirkby Gallery is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm. On Saturdays is it open 10am – 1pm. 

You will find it on the first floor of The Kirkby Centre, Norwich Way, Kirkby, Knowsley, L32 8XY.