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Isle of Man Art News – 28 March 2016


My last news round-up was well received so I’ve decided to make it a regular feature on the website. If you’ve got any news, new work to tell the world about, an update to your blog or anything else art-related that you would like me to publish then please get in touch:


Julie Collins, a Manx born artist who regularly visits the island, recently had 3 paintings accepted to be hung at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. The Institute considered 1000 paintings and chose 80, 3 of which are Julie’s, to be shown at the Mall Galleries, London April 6-16 2016. There is to be a private viewing of exhibition on Tuesday 5th April from 12 noon to 8pm. The opening takes place at 3pm and will be officiated by Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. 

Julie will also be running a couple of workshops at Brightlife this year – Freedom in Watercolour (April) and Freedom in Watercolour and Ink (November). 




Another date for your diary: 7 May 2016 -2pm.  Manx National Heritage is hosting ‘An Afternoon with Chris Killip’. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for students and are available from 31 March. Chris Killip is one of the most influential documentary photographers of the post-war generation. He will be providing a fascinating insight into his career and will sign purchased copies of his book ‘Isle of Man Revisited’. The exhibition of his work runs until 13 August.

Chris Killip


The Isle of Man Art Society’s Easter exhibition has been a great success I think. I manned the door for a couple of hours on Saturday morning and despite the awful weather there were plenty of visitors to the show. Many of the art works were already sold (having opened to the public on Wednesday last week). Lots of positive comments about the new venue as well at the old Shoprite store in The Village Walk in Onchan. It’s a great space for an art exhibition with natural light and ample parking. The exhibition closes tomorrow (Tuesday) lunchtime.


Easter Art Exhibition 2016


‘Art and Faith’ – a PechaKucha by Petrina Kent, is a powerful and yet sublime presentation of her work. In this short video, just under 7 minutes, Petrina talks about how her faith guides her inspiration and how being in the landscape has a profound influence on the work she produces. 



The Art Reach ladies at The Isle Gallery only have 4 places left on their Children’s workshop this Wednesday.

Cermamics - Hand Shaped Bowls


Sally Black published a new blog post earlier today ‘Bali and my discovery of colour‘ and encourages us to look for the riot of colour we just don’t ‘see’ in our local environment. Check out Sally’s website too as she has recently made some changes to it.



Phil Kneen should have reached Tokyo by now on his latest trip. Before disappearing off Island he updated his blog with ‘Mimi’ and his feelings when a model tells him that they don’t like the photographs he has taken. I can understand both sides; I hate just about every photograph ever taken of me (as I am sure many people do), regardless of whether or not it’s a great photo in the eyes of others. Don’t take it personally Phil and keep up the fab work.



Just Under the Surface: Helen Fox Programme Manager for Art, Design and Media and Colette Davies, Fine Art & Contextual Studies Lecturer at the Isle of Man College of Further & Higher Education have invited fellow students/artists from the MA programme at the Northumbria University, Newcastle, to bring work to the Isle of Man. The course at Northumbria provides an ideal opportunity to synthesise pedagogic and creative practices. The group exhibition reflects work in progress and will be open to the public at The Douglas Market Hall from 1st – 9th April 9-5 during the Easter break.



The Creative Network’s Art Festival is not far away now, to be held over the May Bank Holiday weekend. With over 40 artists taking part this will definitely be a great weekend for art lovers. 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. The re-brand has allowed greater scope to encourage Island-wide artist participation. Valuable support is provided by the Isle of Man Arts Council, Manx National Heritage, Peel Commissioners and partner galleries.

Entrance to studios, demonstrations and exhibition venues over all three days will be by purchase of a wrist band at £3, which includes a free festival guide. Students will receive a concessional rate of £2 and everyone under 18 goes free! All venues will be open 11am – 5pm over the three day weekend.

Wrist bands and guides will be available to purchase in advance three weeks before the Festival via 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 the Corrin Hall and artist studios during the event.



And finally, here are just a few of the pictures published on social media over the last week or so. Click on the pictures to see them in lightbox format. 

Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ on Linkedin.


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‘Inspiration’ Exhibition is a Rare Treat

It’s not often you get to pick up an artist’s sketch book and turn over the pages (unless they are your best mate or you’re married to them I guess) but at the new exhibition, ‘Inspiration’, at the Hodgson Loom gallery in Laxey you can do just that. Leafing through the sketches and doodles you really get to appreciate just how wonderfully creative the artists’ minds are. I was turning over the pages in one sketch book thinking ‘well I’d frame that’ and ‘I’d frame that one too’ and ‘Ooooh yes, I’d definitely frame that one’ – and those are just the sketches! 

Julia Ashby Smyth

I had a lovely chat with Julia Ashby Smyth who has curated the exhibition. Julia said that although some of the sketch books are under protective covers she will be selecting different pages for public viewing each day. This, and more work yet to arrive, meant that there would be a dynamic, changing element to the show. Julia’s own work – in a box that you can rifle through (with care, of course) – includes sketches of dragons, faeries and mythical beasties. It’s very evident that her knowledge of Manx folklore has grown through a simple, honest fascination for the subject. In the photograph behind Julia you might recognise the Christmas stamps she designed a few years ago.

Neil Milsom

Neil Milsom popped in while I was there. Neil told me in his lovely soft Irish accent about his passion for pre-history. I hadn’t appreciated at first that he had actually crafted the pin on display using the rudimentary tools on the plinth below it. Neil had seen such a pin crafted in gold on a visit to his home town of Dublin and in his words he had ‘become obsessed by it’. Much of Neil’s work (when he’s not working the day job) is mineral based and reflects the runes and symbols found at ancient sites. You can see more of Neil’s work on his website:

Grace Cain (left) and Rebecca Odessa

I loved Rebecca Odessa’s framed collages. I found the cut, crisp edges and simple backgrounds very pleasing indeed. Rebecca told me that she loves the cutting but is not so fond of the sticking! Nevertheless, she’s done a wonderful job of it and created some really interesting and thought provoking pieces.

Julie Roberts

Julie Roberts also called in but I didn’t get a chance to talk to her about her work. It was lovely to meet her though, albeit briefly, and I did manage to snatch a photo of her standing in front of one of her works. Apologies for the quality of the pictures – I just snapped them on my phone.

Other exhibitors include Rosie Wood, Noelle Quinn, Pat Kelly, Kathy Craig, Kirsten Penzes, Helen Tate, M G Moffatt, Jan Cottier and Cas Powles. The Exhibition is on until 16th April so there is still plenty of time to visit this fascinating insight into the thinking and ideas that go towards producing some of our fabulous local artwork.

Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ on Linkedin.








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Manx Art News Round Up

It’s been busy in the art world on the Island this week so I thought rather than bombard you with lots of separate posts I would do a bit of a round-up for you.

Juan Moore announced that his first solo show in 5 years will open at The Isle Gallery on 31 July. Juan is a practising fine artist, illustrator and creative and works across both traditional and digital mediums. Expect to be surprised (and possibly shocked) by this talented Artist’s work. You can see some of Juan’s work, read his biography and find his contact details on his page : Juan Moore.




The Sayle Gallery is currently hosting Cian Quayle’s ‘Points of Departure’ exhibition which is on until 3 April. 

Spanning a thirty year period, the exhibition of paintings, prints, photographs and object-based works, investigates ideas of ‘place’ and what lies between ‘home’ and elsewhere.

The exhibition has a strong Manx theme, explores interconnected ideas and subjects across a vast time frame spanning the ancient to the contemporary, using a diverse range of images which includes family paintings, keeills and references to Celtic history. 


The Sayle Gallery is also holding a silent auction for 3 new paintings, created as part of a collaborative project by artist Rob Smith and members of the Youth Arts Centre, on Kensington Road, Douglas. Visitors to the gallery are invited to submit bids for each of the paintings, which will remain sealed until the paintings come down, at which point the winning bidders will be informed.

The paintings, along with a collection of prints will be on display until 3rd April so pop along and put in a bid.




Phil Kneen is off on his travels again – after Japan, he will be heading off on a 5000 mile, two week working road trip to the Lofoten Islands in Arctic Norway. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Phil’s stunning photography on his blog which you can follow here:

The picture below was taken at ‘The Jungle’ in Calais on one of his recent photographic adventures.




The Isle of Man Art Society Easter Exhibition opens next week, 23-29 March, and this year is on at the old Shoprite store in The Village Walk, Onchan. Paul Parker treated us to a preview of one of the paintings he will be exhibiting this year.




The very talented Colleen Corlett now has a page on the Directory. Colleen recently produced the most beautiful illuminated address to commemorate Hector Duff’s Honorary Freedom of Douglas. 




The Isle of Man Film Festival 2016 has just launched their new website: Bruno Cavellec has designed this lovely poster with a limited colour palette.



Hope you enjoyed seeing what’s going on. Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ on Linkedin.

Have a great weekend!