It’s a bit quiet on the art front this week but I’m quite glad of that for a couple of reasons. The first is that I slipped on the bottom step of the stairs at home early on Saturday morning and have badly twisted my left knee and both ankles so I am struggling to get around the house, let alone further afield and secondly, with us being in the throes of TT it’s actually quite difficult to get anywhere, especially as I live close to the course in Ramsey and get blocked in by all of the bikes waiting for the mountain to open. On the plus side, however, it has given me a chance to tell you about the lovely show, “Catch and Release” that is on at the moment at The Isle Gallery in Tynwald Mills. It’s a joint exhibition of Julie Roberts’ paintings and Nick Barlow’s sculptural pieces and I went along to the opening a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get around to mentioning it in the news last week.
Julie’s lovely work probably needs little introduction. Her distinctive style and colour palette work really well with Nick’s wooden sculptural pieces and the combination has produced a harmonious whole of natural hues and subject matter.
In recent years Julie’s work has been rooted in Manx Folklore with the illustration of traditional tales set here on the Island. The work varies enormously in size, depending on her mood at the time. Also included are some personal pieces and a few of her commissions. I had a chat to Nick Barlow at the opening, who I hadn’t met before, and was quite surprised at how young he is – though I’m not sure why I thought he’d be older. Nick is perhaps best known for his chainsaw sculptures and his large wood carvings such as “Fenella”, “The Groudle Wizard”, “The Storyteller” and “The Happy Hikers”. Originally trained as a tree surgeon he started to work more creatively in 2010, giving tree stumps a new lease of life, the first of which was the large wizard in Sulby Glen. Over the following years his work has included an array of figurative and abstract sculpture, memorial pieces, portraits and functional works on and off island.
It’s a really lovely show so do go along to see it or call in if you happen to be at Tynwald Mills soon.
OK, sorry about this Nick, and no disrespect to you whatsoever as I’m really impressed with your work, but being of a certain age the thought of chainsaws trigger some funny memories and for those of you who are old enough to remember I just had to include this video…
This time of year one of my favourite local Artist’s, Adam Berry, usually pops up somewhere or other and this year he’s been busy on branding work for Betty Pie and the Manx Cider Company. I don’t know why I particularly associate Adam with TT because he does great work all year round but he does seem to keep quite a low profile most of the time. Do you remember those gorgeous stamps of his that were issued by the Post Office last year? They were lovely and you can still pick them up at the Post Office or order them via the Post Office online. Click on the pics to view these few pics by Adam in the Lightbox.
Katy Mitchell has also been doing some branded commission work – check out the bill trays that she’s recently produced for one of my favourite restaurants in Douglas, 14 North. She’s also been working on some larger, 2 kg pieces (the two bowls below) and Katy says she’s been really pleased with how they have turned out.
I think it’s interesting that I’m seeing less and less local art posted on Facebook and more and more on Instagram. If you’re looking for, or want to follow, a particular Artist check out if they have an Instagram feed as you might find much more of their work posted there. One local Artist I follow on Instagram who I don’t think posts on Facebook at all is Mary Cousins (maryfcousins) who produces these really cute, quirky little drawings. Mary works at the Family Library which is a great resource and relies on donations and funding. It supplies specialist services for young people, the mobile library and is a literary resource for schools, adults and the wider Island community. I really look forward to seeing her little pics on Instagram and it’s lovely to see her practicing and publishing her work so regularly.
Here’s this week’s round up from social media. Enjoy!
Dates for your Diary
1 June for one week only – Stedhead Art at Noa Bakehouse
7 June – Sarah Hendy’s arts show ‘Spotlight’ on Manx Radio, 5.30 – 6.00pm (and every Wednesday)
On now– REM-EMBERS EMBLAZONED – David Maddrell at Studio 42 (and lots of other lovely work – well worth a visit)
On now – Hodgson Loom Gallery – ‘Salty Wheels’ and Fottofinders TT exhibition.
On now until 10 September – “This is Summer” exhibition at the House of Manannan
On now and throughout the TT period – ‘Thirty-Seven and Three Quarters’ – photographic exhibition by James Marvin at The Sayle Gallery; and
24 May – 15 June Roger Dean’s paintings at The Sayle
On now – ‘Catch and Release’ at the Isle Gallery – Nick Barlow and Julie Roberts
15 June – First Meeting of the Isle of Man Drawing Club, 6.30 pm at the British Hotel, North Quay, Douglas
15 June – Start of Paul Parker’s Water Colour Landscape Painting Course at Thie Ellyn
21 June – The Isle Gallery: Lino Block Printmaking One Day Adult Art Workshop, 10.00am – 4.00pm
That’s it for this week. Keep safe and fingers crossed for some good weather for the racing and our visitors.