The Ashington District Star Project

The Ashington District Star Project
Ashington District Star Issue #1, Autumn 2014 / Issue #2, Spring 2015.
The Ashington District Star Project
Ashington District Star Editorial Group, 2015.


The Ashington District Star project was inspired by the renowned Ashington Group of painters, a group of coal miners who, in the mid-1930s, started to explore their everyday lives and surroundings through art. They supported and encouraged one another by meeting regularly to respond to each other’s efforts and share ideas. When they began exhibiting they did so collectively rather than as individuals, calling themselves the Ashington Group and they were celebrated as being at the vanguard of a new artistic movement. Their draughtsmanship and technique are at times amateurish, but their achievement lies in the collective intensity of their desire to express themselves and in the extraordinary collection of ‘unprofessional’ paintings they produced over many years, now internationally acclaimed as a unique record of a working-class community and as evidence of an art-making sense of life.

Initially, Germain produced a series of contemporary photographs that refer both compositionally and in terms of content, to a selection of the historical paintings. He subsequently adopted the collective philosophy of the Ashington Group by inviting local people to join a new Editorial Group, who would participate in all aspects of the production and distribution of a local photographic newspaper/journal, which the group themselves named the Ashington District Star.

Since the autumn of 2014, 8 editions of the 24-page tabloid have been published.

Ashington District Star Editorial Group: Molly Alderton, Ian Chapman, Tom Cunningham, Jacqui Dixon, JP Fielding, Jay Finlayson, David Flynn, Michael Flynn, Julian Germain, Linda Harbour, Dave Henderson, Myrle Howard, Georgia Lennie, Peter McArdle, Carolyn Mcpherson, Joe Sanders, Jamie Sinclair, Scott Straker, Lesley Wood.


Ashington District Star

Ashington District Star is a local newspaper/photographic journal which is pioneered by Julian Germain and takes its inspiration from the Ashington Group Painters - humble local miners who became famous for the way they explored their everyday lives, their surroundings and culture through art. The aim of 'The Star' is to inspire a new group of photographers and artists to revisit, renew and continue this process; to look at and think about Ashington today and to creatively document the area and its community.

'The Star' seek to entertain and engage, to provoke debate and encourage participation.