I think I’m in love with Peel. It might be something to do with the fact that it was a glorious day yesterday, there were people milling around all over the place and there was a really good vibe in the air. The sun shone, Peel was a feast for the eyes with all of its higgledy-piggledy buildings and gorgeous flora and there was Pimms and friends. What could be better?
Despite mentioning last week that it was to be my first Yn Chruinniaght I still, somehow, mysteriously, managed to miss 95% of it by getting completely distracted first by the sale in Tynwald Mills (understandable, I’m sure you’ll agree) and then by the Peel Secret Gardens which was also on over the weekend. I last visited some of the Secret Gardens a few years ago but this year we had a local ‘tour guide’ Linda McCauley – now native to Peel – who led us on foot through lanes and cut through’s you’d never normally see driving around and in doing so had time to appreciate some of the wonderful architecture, both old and new, as well as abundant and well tended gardens that put mine to shame.
I readily admit that I am no gardener – in fact my gardening skills are about on a par with my artistic skills – but my sister (who I was with yesterday – on the left of the photo above, Linda in the middle and me on the right) is a very good gardener indeed and has the most beautiful garden at her home in Douglas. In fact, thinking about it, she’s a pretty good artist too so perhaps art and gardening are mutually compatible and you either are, or you aren’t, good at both? My sister is good at both – I am good at neither. I wonder if in fact there really is a pattern to this? Do leave a comment below if you have any wisdom to add to my wild assumptions 🙂
Being surrounded by such a visually inspirational city it should really be no surprise that Peel is home to a number of our best Artists – Nicola Dixon, Bruno Cavellec, Kate Jerry, Myra Gilbert, Eric Glithero and Sally Black to name but a few. Do keep your eyes peeled for Eric Glithero’s photographs of Peel by the way as they are just wonderful. There were a number of them exhibited over the May Bank Holiday weekend at the Hodgson Loom Gallery and in Peel and I am hoping that Eric will soon have a page on the Directory.
Whilst I admit I didn’t resist being led around beautiful gardens, I did ensure that our tour included the Artisan Market at the Corrin Hall which was extremely busy when we were there. The Artists gathered were top of the tree and I took the opportunity to stock up on some of Nicola Dixon’s beautifully crafted cards, another wee pot to add to my first wee pot from Katy Mitchell and a much longed for purchase from Graham Hall’s beautiful collection of wooden vessels. While I was struggling to decide exactly which gorgeous bowl to have Graham asked me what I planned to do with it. I have to wonder – do you actually need to do something with such things? It’s so pretty I was planning on just looking at it!
Heading back to the Architecture theme, I spotted this video link on Facebook last week: “The built environment belongs to everybody” – watch the Isle of Architecture launch video and see why we should all get more engaged with the structures that surround us. Let’s celebrate our historic buildings and think about what’s important for the future of architecture on the Isle of Man.
You can check out what’s on and take a peek around their website here: www.isleofarchitecture.com.
So what else is coming up? Juan Moore’s exhibition, “Odd Days” opens on 31st July at The Isle Gallery. He looks to be very well organised indeed and Juan will be on Manx Radio’s ‘Women Today’ programme with me on Friday 29th July at 2.00pm, just before the show opens on the Sunday, so do tune in to hear about what we can expect to see and what’s behind Juan’s inspiration for this exhibition – his first solo exhibition in 5 years.
Jo Pretty, Principal and Chief Executive of Lowestoft College, has been appointed to a new role as Principal for the newly positioned University College Isle of Man.
Officially appointed in March of this year she will be the first female Principal in the college’s long history and said one of the reasons she was selected for this high profile role was her experience across the spectrum of education, her commercial outlook and experience, and her proven record in managing change. During her time at Lowestoft College she has effectively restructured the college in line with industry and community needs, increased student and staff satisfaction, and has been a lead figure in the East Coast Colleges merger.
Jo said: “This is a very exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to heading the University College Isle of Man as the college plans to grow its higher education and seek to better meet the needs of a growing and diversifying community on the Island.”
This is also a life style change for her and her husband, an artist, who is looking forward to painting the landscapes and life on the Island.
The Hodgson Loom Gallery has a new exhibition opening on 23rd July, “Summer Symphony of Silk” which I am very excited to see as my mum had a go at silk painting a few years ago and produced some lovely pieces. I don’t have any silk painters on the Directory yet, so if you are reading this, please come out from where you are hiding and get in touch!
Also coming up is Art in the Park:
Art in the Park – An opportunity to come and watch artists producing their work, to get creative yourself and to exhibit in the gallery. The Sayle Gallery is staging an arts weekend where anyone of any age can come along and view some of the Island’s artists demonstrating a range of art forms and where everyone can get involved and get creative themselves.
The event will take place across the Friday and weekend of the 5th, 6th and 7th of August. The Villa Marina has kindly allowed us to spread into the Villa Gardens where the art activity will be happening between 10am and 4pm each day. The event is free to all so do please come along and join us.
Inside the gallery there will be an exhibition of work by all the artists taking part as well as six practical art workshops for families which are bookable in advance. The artists taking part are; Celine Appleyard, David Metaxas, Gavin Carter, Rob Smith and Jill Gillings.
There will be live music performed on the stage within the gardens across the weekend, in association with the Tinkerman Festival and Soundcheck. David Metaxas and Celine Appleyard will be demonstrating their ceramic artwork and will be offering the opportunity for visitors to sink their fingers into some wet clay to build their own pinch pots or ceramic sculptures.
Rob Smith will be offering the chance to join in with the production of large experimental paintings in the middle of the lawn – a great space to be able to throw paint around without fear of damaging walls or furniture. So if you have always wanted to do a large painting but have not had the materials or space to do it, come and see Rob. He will also help with the production of smaller works which will adorn one of the park’s trees.
Jill Gillings will be demonstrating her stained glass techniques as she works on a glass and wood sculpture. She will also be involving visitors in the production of paper butterflies which will be displayed on netting on one of the trees. Another activity for all will be the painting on to pebbles or stones. These painted rocks will be used after the event to create a decorative border for one of the flower beds in the park, so do come and contribute to this long term creative addition to the Villa Gardens.
Gavin Carter will be teaching people some of his wood carving techniques and engaging visitors in joining in with the production of a large wood sculpture which will hopefully find a home in the Gardens after the event.
In the gallery itself, participants who wish to book in to one of the workshops, will experience mould making and working with plaster. They will be able to get creative with surface decoration of plant pots and to contribute to a large group sculpture project, where one huge sculpture will be built and displayed within the gallery. This sculpture will form the centrepiece for a two week exhibition where any work produced over the weekend may be left with us to be displayed. We would love to be able to show as much work as possible to celebrate the creativity of all participants (we do not expect masterpieces!). All work can be collected after the exhibition to take home.
We are praying for good weather and lots of visitors to come and enjoy a weekend of creativity. Do come along and join in the fun!
To book one of the gallery workshops or to find out more details please contact the Sayle Gallery, Villa Marina Colonnade, 1 – 3 Harris Promenade, Douglas, IM1 2HN. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 674557
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Have a great week!