June Lornie of The Liverpool Academy of Arts fame has partnered with Gary Millar to showcase her art and photographs, together with his photography at Liverpool’s Fashion Hub in December 2020 and January 2021. This exhibition is called “Through the Looking Glass”.
Both Gary and June are in the process of fashioning t-shirts and tops featuring their works as affordable "Wearable Art". This example is one of their completed projects and is available to order today.
The Through the Looking Glass exhibition is taking place virtually at artsteps | Through the Looking Glass.
Background: June Lornie
The artist, who lives in New Brighton, is a highly experience costumier and artist, has an admiration for all things 'Alice.'
June adds "As a child I spent most of my life in hospital and visiting days were once a month - the only time I saw my parents."
June recalls that the kindly doctors and nurses became her substitute parents.
"I had to lay on my back so I used a mirror. I always saw the world back-to-front.
"I was told fairy stories by the medical staff- stories such as such as Cinderella and Snow White."
That mirror became more than a passport invitation to open her vivid imagination into a make-believe place.
June said: "I was told about a little girl who went through a looking glass called Alice.
"At the time the story went over my head.
"Characters like the Queen of Hearts and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum stayed in my mind."
Yet it was the character of Alice that inspired June to draw, paint, sew and stitch and also create costumes about her heroine.
"I used to think one day I would sit in a garden and follow a white rabbit down a hole and see all the strange things that Alice in her Wonderland saw and experienced."
As time passed not only on the March Hare watch, June's fascination with Alice grew and grew.
She started her own collection of Alice- themed books and her creative work expanded so much so that two pages of her illustrations appeared in a prestigious magazine.
Along with musician husband David, she joined The Lewis Carroll Society and they are still enthusiastic members to this day.
"I have held many exhibitions with my illustrations of Alice in Wonderland and I have dressed up as the Queen of Hearts to attend many Mad Hatter tea parties, she adds with a giggle.
June also has another ambition regarding Alice.
"One day I hope to start work on Alice Through the Looking Glass - that should keep me busy for a few years."
Background: The Liverpool Academy of Arts
The Liverpool Academy of Arts was a unique institution that encouraged creativity across a range of social divides, making art accessible to people who might not otherwise connect with it, and offered the opportunity for local people of even modest means, to purchase work for their own homes.
The Liverpool Academy had been exhibiting and selling works of art for nearly two hundred years. In that period it has been in and out of existence over a dozen times.
The First Liverpool Academy was initiated in 1810 by William Roscoe and a group of local artists at the Crown and Anchor Tavern. It built upon the foundations of short-lived exhibiting societies that had started in 1769. Roscoe was a Liverpool M.P., banker, historian and slave abolitionist.
The most recent Liverpool Academy of Arts was re-established in 1988 by Arthur Dooley with the financial support of Allan Johnstone and the organisational ability of June Lornie. It aimed to carry on the work of the previous Academy headed by Adrian Henri. Dooley was a prominent Liverpool sculptor, activist, communist and catholic who died in 1994.
The Years 1988 to Current Day >>>
From December 1988 to The Academy has organised over 300 exhibitions and theatrical performances. Under June’s curation the Academy ran the yearly Beatles Exhibition which attracted contributors and visitors from all over the world.
Over 2000 artists have exhibited their work with The Liverpool Academy of Arts before it closed a few years ago. Many of these artists have been professional and high profile, like Adrian Henri and Don McKinlay, but most have been those who create for pleasure, some exhibiting at a gallery for the first time.
The Liverpool Academy building has for over 30 years provided dozens of artists and creative businesses with city centre studios and retail spaces.
In 2006 The Liverpool Academy of Arts became a registered charity. Its objects were:-
"to advance education by promoting and encouraging exhibitions and performances to disseminate knowledge of the arts including painting, sculpture, collage, performance, drama, mime, dance, singing and music, and in particular to foster in members of the public who have not before visited exhibitions, purchased original artworks or produced a work of art an interest in both appreciating the arts and participating in them."