Julia Midgley

Julia Midgley was a Reader in Documentary Drawing within LJMU’s School of Art and Design and a member of staff for 26 years before retiring in 2013.

As part of our Bicentenary celebrations, we’ve asked her to take on the role of Artist in Residence, to capture, document and record special moments throughout the year.

Reportage is an important aspect of her studio practice, and direct observational drawing provides the bedrock for her practice. Subject matter comes from sketchbooks whose pages reveal drawn snapshots of curiosities; and direct observations of live action.

In her projects she records events with drawing creating beautiful and detailed watercolour sketches. A wide variety of locations and subjects have been illustrated from sporting events such as the Wimbledon Championships to medical procedures at the Royal Liverpool University and Broadgreen Hospital as well projects with the military onboard a Merlin helicopter with RAF Tactical Medical Wing, Brize Norton. Medicine, movement, war art, human and animal anatomy are particular interests of Julia’s. Her personal work often refers to horses and to art history.

Julia has previously captured other milestones in LJMU’s history, as the Resident Artist to LJMU’s Roscoe Anniversary Lecture Series in 2017 and between 2006 and 2007 she was the DLA Piper Artist in Residence, creating a unique fly-on-the-wall catalogue of the construction of the John Lennon Art and Design Building. She donated this collection to the university for the building's 10th anniversary and this was exhibited at the school in 2018. In recognition of Julia’s work the School of Art and Design now hosts an annual student drawing prize known as the Julia Midgley Reportage Travel Award.

“The way that Julia can capture a moment in time with her impressive sketches and use of watercolour is simply remarkable. I’m delighted she has agreed to be our Artist in Residence throughout our Bicentenary year, and I hope that in 200 years from now, her works are looked upon again as a poignant record of LJMU’s remarkable history.”

– Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power

Julia said: “I am really delighted to be Artist in Residence for Liverpool John Moores University’s Bicentenary year. The university is an old friend so it’s lovely to be part of their celebrations.”

She’s already had a busy start to her residency. She captured the amazing energy of Professor Andy Newsam as he delivered the first Roscoe lecture of the year at St George’s Hall and sat among our most recent graduates' family and friends in Liverpool Cathedral for our March graduation ceremonies.

She’ll work alongside us documenting key moments of the 200th anniversary year as it continues, and options are being explored for showcasing her final works when the Bicentenary comes to a close.

Julia is also a practising printmaker and is a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy of Art's Summer Exhibition (12 occasions). She has been the recipient of national awards for drawing, painting and printmaking, and is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers and the Royal Watercolour Society.

Julia trained at Mid Cheshire College of Art & Design (1964 - 66), and Manchester College of Art & Design, now MMU (1966 - 69). Her work is held in public, private, and corporate collections in the UK and abroad.