Isle of Man Art News 18 March 2019

It’s been 3 weeks since my last post (apologies) but this week I finally have exciting news to impart.

Two new shows are set to open at the weekend, one at The Hodgson Loom Gallery and one at Isle Contemporary. The show at The Hodgson Loom opens first on Saturday, ‘Africa’, with work by artists Pat Kelly and Janice Cottier. Not only do we have the promise of a ‘riot of pattern and colour’ but we should also see the unveiling of the redesigned space in the Woollen Mills. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it.

The new show at Isle Contemporary (formerly the Isle Gallery) also promises to be a ‘must see’ show with work by Grenaby based artist, Graham Rider, which opens on Sunday at 2pm. Since Graham relocated to the island a couple of years ago he has been inspired by our coastlines, his stunning beach pictures evocative of sunny summer days and memories of childhood picnics.

Bruno Cavellec has been pursuing his passion for producing book and album covers with the publication of Graham Hamer’s new book, Jasmine’s Journey (The French Collection).

Here’s the ‘blurb’ as Graham calls it!

“When eight-year-old Jasmine Guichard gets lost in the catacombs of Paris, she triggers a sequence of events that she could never have imagined. And many that she will never know about.While she is trapped in the darkness, a contract killer arrives in the city to wreak revenge on a paedophile who made a mockery of the justice system. D.S. Robbie Allen and D.C. Benedict Blewett are dispatched from Liverpool to find the killer before he strikes again. But when D.C. Blewett spots their mark, his senior officer refuses to believe him.Meanwhile, Harry and Tristan are determined to find Jasmine and are helped in their efforts by a young nun who is not at all what she seems. There’s more going on behind the closed doors of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Isabelle of France than meets the eye – a lot more.When D.C. Blewett hands the proof of a European counterfeit gang to the French police, he is elevated to celebrity status. When he then alerts the world’s media to events at the Daughters of Charity of Saint Isabelle of France, even his disparaging senior officer starts to take note.”

The last Manx Wearable Arts show at the Youth Arts Centre was fabulous fun. It’s only every two years so make sure you go along on 29th March as it’s not to be missed!

Talking art and fashion, UCM art student Cara Bregazzi was scouted by a London Modelling Agency last November whilst on an educational student trip and these images have recently been published in prestigious magazine ‘Heroine’, spring summer edition. Cara will also be featured in the magazine ‘Hero’ in the coming months with photo’s taken by ex UCM Art student Daniyel ‘Ducky’ Lowden, now a professional London based fashion photographer.
Cara is taking a gap year on completion of her extended diploma in June to explore a professional modelling career before university. She has several other model castings in her diary already, and is a talented fashion stylist and photographer herself. Well done Cara!

Gary Myers and Juan Moore are both busy working for Clever Unicorn Games at the moment. Gary is making spaceships for their upcoming board game ‘Fractured Galaxy’. The models will be 3d printed as board game counters. Juan has posted up a ‘Gelatinous Bunny’…… hmmm!

It’s great to see local artists getting wider recognition for their work, so congratulations to Vici Blackburn whose gorgoeus papier mache bowls featured in a recent edition of World of Interiors. If you fancy one for yourself there is a rather lovely collection at Grenaby. It’s mother’s day soon too so a very good reason to be paying them a visit this week!

Here’s this week’s gallery.

I’ve changed the opening time of the preview at The Engine House on 2nd May from 7pm to 6.30pm so that people who might prefer to come straight from work can pop in before heading home or off for something to eat. If you’d like an email invite to the future previews at The Engine House please send me an email to with ‘Invite Me’ in the subject line and I will add you to our guest list.

That’s it for the next couple of weeks. If you’d like to get the news delivered to your inbox so you don’t miss it now that’s it’s not every week just fill in the form in the sidebar.

Jane x

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Come and see our wearable art in action!

We are pleased to announce the eighth edition of the Manx Wearable Art Live Catwalk Show 2017. This is a biennial event on the Isle of Man. You will see the most exciting and innovative fusion of art, fashion and theatre come alive, modelled in a catwalk performance. At least 40 outfits will be paraded in front of an audience of approximately 150, a full capacity audience, at the Youth Arts Centre, in Kensington Road, Douglas.

“Whether you have a flair for fashion or a passion for the arts we would like to hear from you”, said event organiser Doreen Dixon, “We have seen some fantastic outfits made from all sorts of materials over the years and we are hoping that this year we can attract the best yet!”
Event organiser Sue Robinson says: “People invest a large amount of time, effort and talent into their designs and we are pleased that we can display them live on the catwalk at our Manx Wearable Art Show this year. We are also pleased to support the Youth Arts Centre which offers such great facilities for creative minds on the Island.”
Wearable Art was started in New Zealand in 1987 and the Manx version has been held every other year since 2005. Local businesses, charities, college students, independent groups and individuals have all contributed outfits in the past, using fibre, fabric, paper, wood, metal, rubber, plastic, flotsam and all kinds of recycled goods. It only needs to be strong enough to survive the catwalk and striking enough to enhance the show!

As an additional incentive selected items from the catwalk will be chosen to form part of a static display during this year’s IOM Art Festival from 4th – 6th May.

Fiona Helleur, Head of Youth Arts at the Youth arts Centre, commented
 “The secret of the success of the Youth Arts Centre is its diversity in all it does. YAC staff search for the different, unique and the interesting to keep its 500+ members happy during the 32 different sessions it offers weekly in performing and visual arts.”
Tickets for the live catwalk show will be on sale at £6.00 each from the Youth Arts Centre, telephone 07624 437339. If you would like more information please check out the event page on Facebook or contact Sue, Doreen or Myra on 842592/842433.

 The event is self-funded with all profits donated to the Youth Arts Centre

f:   Wearable Art on the Isle of Man
If you would like more information or to arrange interviews and/or photo opportunities, please contact either

Sue Robinson on 842592 or Doreen Dixon on 842433 or
Myra Gilbert E: 

Isle of Man Art Festival 2019

The Creative Network is pleased to announce that the Isle of Man Art Festival is set to take place over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 4th May, Sunday 5th May and Monday 6th May 2019. The annual three-day celebration of visual art is approaching its eighth year and will continue to provide an inspiring opportunity to discover the artists working on the Isle of Man.

Formerly known as the Western Open Studio Art Trail (WOSAT), the Art Festival will encompass open access to artist studios, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations right across the Island. 

This year we shall be holding our informal festival launch and major exhibition preview event at our latest new exhibition venue, The Laxey Glen, on Thursday 25th April at 6pm, ahead of the festival weekend. All press representatives are warmly invited to attend and meet the artists. 

The 2018 festival attracted 2500 visitors, we expect this to increase this year. Last year’s feedback from both visitors and participating artists was unanimously positive. 

Over 50 of the island’s artists are participating, covering a wide range of disciplines, they include painters, illustrators, poets, sculptors, potters, jewellers, embroiderers, textile artists, print-makers and photographers. 

Festival venues so far include:
>The Laxey Glen, the Hodgson Loom Gallery and Mother T’s in Laxey 
>The Old Police Station, The Engine House and Craftworks in Castletown, and nearby, Grenaby Studios
>The House of Manannan, the Pilates Studio, and the Centenary Centre in Peel
>Isle Contemporary, St Johns
>Glen Mooar Cottage Retreat at Sulby Glen 
>The Courthouse in Ramsey 
>Ballajora Studio in Maughold and further individual studios in Port Erin, Kirk Michael and Ballaugh.

The Festival is organised by The Creative Network, an artists’ cooperative with over 60 members who share the aim of promoting art and artists on the island and beyond. Valuable support is provided by the Isle of Man Arts Council, Manx National Heritage, local town Commissioners and partner galleries.

Entrance to studios, demonstrations and exhibition venues over all three days will be completely free, as will our printed Festival Guides and Creative Network Artists Directories. These will be available three weeks before the Festival at The Laxey Glen, Noa Bakehouse in Douglas, the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, the House of Manannan in Peel and all major art galleries, as well as all venues during the event.
All venues will normally be open 11am – 5pm over the three day weekend, but please check online in case of last minute amendments. You will also see that there are plans afoot for various exhibitions preview events by festival partners before opening to the public.

Please visit or follow f:Creative Network IoM on Facebook for festival updates.
Festival images from previous years are available at

For more information please contact Myra Gilbert on 372441 or