Art in the Park

Kirkby Gallery has teamed up with Knowsley Safari to create Art in the Park, providing a new series of virtual creative learning sessions led by professional artists and supported by live and pre-recorded content from Safari experts and the Gallery team. Live streamed from the Safari, the range of outdoors-inspired sessions includes options for individuals, as well as for schools, and will take place in February 2021.

The sessions are free to book and are aimed at anyone keen to learn more about the natural world and a range of artistic practices.

Art in the Park for individuals:

Staffin’ the Safari, led by Cheshire-based printmaker and documentary artist, Julia Midgley. Julia’s four sessions take place weekly at 10am from Monday 1 February 2021 and will focus on work behind the scenes at Knowsley Safari, providing the audience with insight into how keepers and animals work together for the benefit of animal wellbeing and conservation.

Revisioning the Rhino, led by professional printmaker and former Manchester School of Art lecturer, Anthony Ratcliffe. Inspired by 16th Century artist, Albrecht Dürer, Anthony will explore the idea of a rhinocerous woodcut with contemporary associations. Anthony’s four sessions will take place weekly at 10am from Tuesday 2 February 2021.

To book your place on Staffin’ the Safari or Revisioning the Rhino, visit

Art in the Park is also available for Key Stage Two and Three sessions for schools:

Getting Under the Skin will be led by Knowsley-based artist, Patricia McDonald-Holmes and will focus on the nature and habitat of a selection of animals at the Safari.

Safari Scribblers, led by published writer, Johanna Robinson, will see children take part in writing exercises inspired by visitors’ perceptions of the Safari. The school sessions take place weekly during school hours, from early February until the beginning of March.

Schools can contact Knowsley Safari’s Learning and Discovery team directly on 0151 430 9009 (option 2) or enquire online:

Nikki Mallott, Head of Learning and Discovery, Knowsley Safari, says: “With Kirkby Gallery remaining closed due to the pandemic and the Safari looking for additional ways to engage with those interested in the natural world, our Art in the Park collaboration offers a perfect way for us both to continue providing enjoyable education, while reaching new audiences in an engaging way.”           

Tina Ball, Culture Development & Events Officer (Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum) for Knowsley Council’s Culture Service says: Art in the Park is part of our Out There and Online project and we’re delighted to have received funding from the Museum Development North West Covid-19 Recovery Grants scheme, to enable us to deliver this ‘arts meets the environment’ project with Knowsley Safari. Whilst the Culture Service has been busy developing a range of online and covid-safe projects for schools and the community since lockdown 1, Kirkby Gallery prior to the covid-19 pandemic, was a regular and busy centre for arts activity and education, so to pilot our new home for arts engagement, is a great opportunity for all”.

Knowsley Safari’s social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures remain to ensure the maximum health, safety and enjoyment for all guests, staff and animals. Measures include timed and contactless entry, a one-way Foot Safari, socially distanced picnic areas, PPE for staff, protective screens and helpful staff and signage.