OK, who stole summer? Seriously – what is going on – it’s 11 degrees celcius! We’ve had a couple of weeks of half decent weather and now it’s like winter. I’m writing this now, Sunday afternoon, with my fleece dressing gown over my clothes and a heater on under my desk. I’ve had to put the heating on several times in the last couple of weeks and I am desperately trying to put outfits together for work that look kind of summery but include socks and warm feet. I was far too optimistic about summer last Tuesday and left the house without a coat, so when it came to popping across the road to meet Svetlana Cameron at the Tynwald Library I had to borrow an umbrella from one of my colleagues as it kept raining on an off and was looking very unpredictable.

What was not unpredictable, of course, was the quality of Svetlana’s paintings. The “Laa Tinvaal” exhibition includes her latest commission of Madam President Clare Christian in St. John’s Church, Tony Brown OBE, The Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, and other Tynwald related paintings – 6 in total. It was lovely to be able to see them up close and personal. The attention to detail is quite something else. She must be incredibly patient. The painting Laa Tinvaal, an artwork which depicts Manx dancers on Tynwald Day, has been displayed and reproduced in Australia, Canada and the United States. Later this year in October it will be displayed in a solo exhibition in London at the Mission of Rossotrudnichestvo, a Russian cultural institute which, being of Russian origin, Svetlana is understandably excited about. 

Svetlana told me each portrait has a personal element. The portrait of Clare Christian shows her with her Archibald Knox inkwell which she brought to the sittings from home; in Tony Brown’s portrait the dates on the books are of relevance – the year he was first elected as an MHK, the year he became Speaker and the year he retired. In the Rev. Robert Paterson’s portrait, the bible is his own and very special to him. It’s something you would probably never realise unless you knew the sitter or spoke to the Artist. I wonder just how many famous historical paintings there are where the story to them or an element of their production which was important at the time has been lost?

If you would like to meet Svetlana and have a chat to her, she will be at the exhibition on Friday 15th and Friday 22nd July from 11 am – to 1 pm. The exhibition is running until July 22nd from 9am- 5pm every weekday in the Tynwald Library and is open to everyone. If you don’t know where it is it’s very easy to find – just go through to doors on the Finch Road side of the building and the exhibition is in the Library just to the right.

 

I doubt anyone will have forgotten that it’s Tynwald Day on Tuesday this week (well certainly not us office dwellers). If you plan to go to Tynwald Fair look out for Kate Jerry and Colette Gambell at Bunscoill Ghaelgagh, St Johns (the primary school, in case you aren’t sure). They will be helping people make printed cards which should be fun. Kate, Colette and Anna (who run ‘ArtReach’ at The Isle Gallery) have just released more adult classes taking us up towards the end of the year. Do book early and go along and enjoy yourself – I know I did. If I didn’t have about a million and ten other things I need to do at present I could very easily be persuaded to have a go at some of the other classes, despite the results of my efforts last week! Other Artists to look out for at Tynwald Fair are Alice’s Illustrations, Nicola Dixon, Faye Christian Ceramics, ElementIsle, Rosie Glassey, Katy Mitchell and Graham Hall.

 

The new portrait of Clare Christian set Sally Black pondering about What Makes a Portrait Great and whether or not a photograph will ever carry the same prestige as a painting. Looking at the photograph of Churchill she selected as an example I can certainly see where she is coming from in terms of it being a very justifiable medium for official portraiture. It is an excellent post and well worth a few minutes of your time. Sally has also been drawing – something she says she hasn’t done for years – but she says she’s been enjoying it and looking at the results so far, I’m enjoying it too. She’s also been painting a rock pool which is looking lovely.

 

The Isle Gallery opened a new exhibition yesterday, ‘Remnants’, and exhibition of work by Vici Blackburn and Hazel Walsh. I haven’t had a chance to see this yet so I quote from from the launch blurb:

“Not for the faint hearted, this alternative collection of works challenges convention, channelling creative expression through the three dimensional form. Vici’s colourful, rugged sculptural forms offer depth and joy, capturing broken moments and memory through confident mark making and abstraction. Hazel has returned to the use of assemblage to explore the theme of 1930’s sideshow and carnivale. Her creations utilise remnants of childhood paraphenalia, combined with a strong sense of the macabre, resulting in an uneasy combination of dark and playful sculptures and mixed media pieces.”

 

The other new exhibition that has opened this week is Peter Davies at The Sayle Gallery “Of time and Place”. It really is wonderful and I will be making several more visits over the next month I expect. Paul Moulton from MT TV was at the launch and talked to Peter about the exhibition and his work. I thought I was out of shot but clearly was not and I’m pretty sure that’s me you can hear cackling in the background later on. Anyway – it was great to hear what Peter had to say about his work and you get to see some of the lovely pictures on display. (Link no longer available).

 

If you enjoy these news updates, please Share them with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists. Finally, here is a round up of some of this week’s images on social media – enjoy.

 

Have a great week!

Jane

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Isle of Man Art News – 4 July 2016

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