Posted on 2 Comments

Isle of Man Art News – 24 April 2017


The News is kindly Supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council.

It’s only 5 more sleeps folks! I’m talking of course about the 6th Creative Network Isle of Man Art Festival. It was a brilliant event last year and promises to be even better this year, with new venues added making it a truly island-wide event. I sat down and worked out my route in advance with a view to getting to see as much as possible last time but of course it’s not just about following the art trail and seeing what the Artists have to offer. For them, selling their work is their livelihood and this is a key event for their cash flow, so I would urge you to take along your wallets and purses (not everyone has card facilities) and to buy whatever takes your fancy, safe in the knowledge that not only have you got something lovely for yourself, but you have also supported local industry at grass-roots level, helping not only the Artists but their families too. Crazy though it may sound I actually did some of my Christmas shopping last year and stashed away a number of my purchases to give as gifts.

So dig deep, buy lots, get to as many venues as you can and most of all, have a fabulous time. You can find all of the details and a link to buy the tickets here or via the Creative Network’s website, here.

After beavering away quietly in the background in recent months, the second of Nicola Dixon’s major commissions is now in the public domain. Nicola’s lovely stamps are now available to pre-order from the Isle of Man Post Office website. ‘Green Mann’ is issued on Wednesday 3rd May and can be found at The set of six colourful stamps look good enough to eat with original artwork from Nicola showing the Island’s landscape, horticultural, farming and fishing heritage and our diverse group of food producers. Each stamp has a quirky title representing the subject matter: Farm to Yarn; Fish to Dish; Welly to Belly; Cow to Cup, Tree to Table and Field to Fork. Chris Collins is the Isle of Man Post Office’s face of the issue, as a former Blue Peter gardener, global horticulturalist and all round grow your own enthusiast.

If you’ve got one of the Manx Cancer Help mini canvases finished then there are a few places you can drop them off. In Douglas you can either deliver them directly to the charity at their HQ in Tromode or to The Sayle Gallery. In Laxey you can drop them off at the Hodgson Loom Gallery and in Peel, Emma at Celtic Gold has kindly agreed to collect them in. I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve sorted out a drop-off point in Ramsey and another in the South. They all need to be in by 19th May to allow sufficient time to get hooks attached to them for hanging and the other practicalities around arranging the show (and taking into consideration TT etc.).

I’m delighted to be able to tell you that John and Julia from the Hodgson Loom Gallery have very kindly agreed to host the show in the gallery for 3 weeks – the last week in June and the first 2 weeks in July. Not only that but they have also agreed to waive commission on any sales which means that ALL of the money raised will go directly to the charity. This really is fantastic news and incredibly generous of them. I’ll publish further information on the launch event closer to the date.

Easter Sunday saw the unveiling of a rather wonderful statue representing Archibald Knox and Josef Pilates by Angela Patchett in the grounds of Peel Cathedral. I haven’t been to see this yet but will make sure I pay a visit to the gardens when I’m in Peel next weekend. Do have a read of the information on the photograph, it’s fascinating. Photographs courtesy of Nicola Dixon.

Starting tonight at The Isle Gallery, Tynwald Mills, the ArtReach Studios ladies are running a “Teens Masterclass”. Following on from a very popular pilot this is a 4 week course and there are still a few places available. The aim is for young people to express their inner creative through a series of a quality Art workshops designed to allow for more time to delve into process, express their inner art voice and develop skill in a number of artistic disciplines. This block of 4 weeks art making, following a programme that builds confidence in speciality art areas for teenagers, includes painting, printmaking and ceramic techniques and is aimed at children of ages 13+. The workshops will take place Monday evenings, from 6pm – 8.30pm tonight, April 24th and then May 1st; May 8th and May 15th. Follow the link to book.

Artreach Studios are also starting another 6 week course this week, ‘Absolute Beginners in Oil Painting’. The first session is 28th April, 7.00-9.30pm. Again, head to the website to book.

Dates for your Diary

24 April for 4 weeks – Teen’s Masterclass at The Isle Gallery

26 April – Sarah Hendy’s arts show ‘Spotlight’ on Manx Radio, 5.30 – 6.00pm (and every Wednesday)

27 April for 6 weeks – Absolute Beginners in Oil Painting at The Isle Gallery

On now – The Sayle Gallery – Cut from the same Cloth – Julie and Alice Fayle

On now – Jimmy Duggan’s ‘False Idols’ at The Isle Gallery

On now– REM-EMBERS EMBLAZONED – David Maddrell at Studio 42

On now  – 2 May – Noa Bakehouse – ‘Around The Mountain’ by Graham Rider

29 April – Hodgson Loom / Isle of Man Art Festival show featuring 16 Artists

29 April – 1 May – the Creative Network’s Isle of Man Art Festival Weekend – island wide

30 April – Bohemian Floral Decorative Wallpanel workshop – The Isle Gallery

14 May – Hand Printed Fabric and Surface Pattern – Adult Workshop – The Isle Gallery

Here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media.

Please note that the news will be published on Tuesday next week as it’s the IOM Art Festival next weekend and I shall be busy visiting as many artists as possible to fill in the gaps of any you don’t manage to visit yourself 🙂

Have a great week!

Jane x

Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter@manxart or Instagram @manxartdirectory or Pinterest. 

Posted on Leave a comment

Anthea Young – Education Services Officer at Manx National Heritage


I work as Education Services Officer for (MNH) Manx National Heritage and lead on both formal and informal learning programmes using historic sites, collections and exhibitions to promote learning opportunities.

My love of museums and museum education initially grew from my childhood exploits at museums and art galleries in the North East of England through frequent family visits to historic sites and many welcome out of school visits. The ability of an out of school visit to stir the creative imagination of a child is something I remember well, which later became the focus for my future career. On moving to the Isle of Man, I later studied a degree in Geology and gained my PGCE specialising in Art and Science and taught at Victoria Road Primary School. In 2006 I commenced my post within MNH and gained my Post Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies.

My day-to-day work focuses on planning educational programmes and events for both formal education and informal family audiences. My work is tremendously varied using the sites, collection and exhibition programmes to engage learners of all ages in the work and collections of Manx National Heritage.  One of the joys of my work is the interaction I have with the Island’s creative community to communicate the stories of our collections to visitors.

Engaging family audiences and children has become increasingly important in our work within Manx National Heritage and I continually seek new ways in which to build creativity into our exhibition programmes. Recent refurbishments within our sites and museums, has also afforded us additional opportunity to work with Island based creatives to provide family centred spaces.

  • Photo Nautical Museum interactive area refitting the Nautical Museum in 2015. Island costumier Penny Nuttall contributed her skills in Georgian dressmaking and doll making for our family friendly space.

The Manx National Heritage exhibition programme is the foundation point of my planning. This year we have successfully planned family workshops and trails utilising the skills of on Island artists for a wide range of learners. Last year in partnership with artists Kate Jerry, Colette Gambell and Anna Clucas- ‘Artreach Studios’ – we delivered drawing and ceramics workshops  to young learners as part of the Jorvik touring exhibition Valhalla Life and Death in Viking Britain

In contrast, 2017 marks the centenary of the death of Manx folklorist Sophia Morrison. To highlight the creative potential of both exhibitions local artist Juan Moore taught a series of Viking and folklore themed workshops at both the Manx Museum and House of Manannan. Juan also rose to the challenge to provide a series of detailed illustrations for our ‘Otherworlds’ trail, which was very appealing to our family groups.  In addition to workshops for younger visitors I have also really enjoyed working with Jean Buck of the Guild of Silk painter’s Isle of Man branch, to host a beginner’s silk painting workshop for adults themed around the work of Sophia Morrison. What I appreciate most about collaborative working is the enthusiasm shown by artists and craftspeople to communicate their craft to learners of wide ranging abilities.

The ability to present dynamic formal educational programmes relies on the diversity of on-island creative partners. Our formal education programme, structured for Island school children, is delivered to just over 4000 children each academic year. Our Friends of Manx National Heritage volunteers are instrumental in preparing high volumes of a range of resources to ensure all children have an opportunity to be creative. 

  • Tiles and Lewis chess pieces made by FMNH for children to paint.
  • Photo pewter workshop-Vikings of Valhalla House of Manannan- Marown school Billy Kelly and Susan Quilliam.

My current project is launching our schools and community loan box scheme ‘Museum on the Move’.  This project has been a unique opportunity to work with Island craftspeople in making quality, bespoke reproduction objects. The ‘Museum on the Move’ outreach scheme was initially conceived to connect schools and community groups with the museum’s collections. The first boxes explore prehistoric and Viking culture. In commissioning Island artisans to make reproduction objects, many further questions arose around how the original objects were originally made and used. Dialogue between artists and curatorial staff has resulted in an enriched understanding of the original object story.

  • Photo loan boxes- ‘Museum on the Move’ Commissions by Graham Hall, Laxey Blacksmith & Morgan Stonehouse

The ‘Museum on the Move’ scheme will be launched in May 2017 for Island schools.

I strongly believe that creativity, learning and enjoyment, is at the heart of museum education. With the future of our sites, collections and stories residing in the hearts and minds of the youngest of our museum visitors, I hope to continue to work with Island’s artists to inspire our custodians of the future.


Anthea Young
Education Services Officer – Manx National Heritage
April 2017

Posted on Leave a comment

Full schedule unveiled for Isle of Man Art Festival 2017


With the sixth annual Isle of Man Art Festival fast approaching, the Creative Network is delighted to unveil details of participating artists, creative activities and try-out sessions at the different festival venues. For three days over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 29 April to Monday 1 May, festivalgoers will be able to experience a whole range of different art forms, with something for everyone, right across the island.

Tickets can be pre-bought online via and the Creative Network Facebook page, or from the Sayle Gallery. Alternatively, tickets are available at all the venues throughout the festival. The price is £5 for the whole three-day weekend, with under 18s going free.

 In Peel

The Sailors Shelter: a new festival venue, where Helen Fox is planning an installation with scallop shells, in the shape of a giant grotto-style structure that people can stand inside. She is aiming for ‘a multi-sensory experience for sight, sound and touch’.

House of Manannan: eight artists will be demonstrating and talking about their work in oil, acrylic and watercolour painting, jewellery making, hand stitching using mixed media, ceramics and photography. Exhibiting artists are Bruno Cavellec painter, printmaker and digital illustrator; Pat Tutt, photographer, architect and writer; and ceramic artist Celine Appleyard.

Demonstrating artists include:

  • Val Galpin, painter – oil painting techniques
  • Pat Kelly, mixed media artist – hand stitching with variety of media
  • Jacqueline Dawson, painter – semi-abstract seascapes in acrylic paints
  • Susanne Ekdahl, jewellery designer – Viking knitting using metal wire
  • Di Beckerson, painter – watercolour techniques

In St Johns

The Isle Gallery, Tynwald Mills: James Duggan’s False Idols exhibition is showing at this not-for-profit venue run by Artreach Studios. Artreach promote artists working with both traditional and contemporary techniques, and host workshops for children and adults all year round.

In Sulby Glen

Glen Mooar Cottage Retreat: a new festival hub hosted by craft artist and seasoned demonstrator Sue Quilliam. Joining Sue in her craft area are:

  • Rosie Wood, fine artist, who will be demonstrating her own project
  • Sara Hogg, wool crafter, demonstrating spinning on a wheel and spindle, and talking about her rare breed sheep and various yarn crafts, which you can try out for yourself
  • Julie Roberts, children’s book illustrator, who uses ink and wash to bring her fairytale Manx characters to life
  • Gavin Carter, wood artist, who will be displaying some of his larger sculptural pieces
  • Julia Ashby Smyth, artist and illustrator, who will have cards for sale featuring her magical drawings of fairytale creatures and mythical beings

 In Ramsey

Ramsey Town Hall: a new festival hub for the north, kindly provided by the Ramsey Town Commissioners, showcasing local artists’ work across a range of media:

  • Simon Park – large format photographic prints of natural sculptural forms
  • Neil Milsom – textural stone carving and sculpture reflecting a passion for prehistory, mythology and the land
  • Peter Davies – artist and illustrator of international acclaim
  • Greg Barlow – large, almost abstract landscape photography
  • Ronnie Doyle – self-taught watercolour painter

Ramsey Tram Station: another new festival venue, where Alice Quayle will be exhibiting her whimsical drawings and maps celebrating the delights of island life and landscape.

In Laxey

Hodgson Loom Gallery: no less than 16 artists will be exhibiting here, with a fantastically varied range of work spanning the traditional to the experimental, including Colleen Corlett; well-known for her stamp designs; Neil Milson, mixed media sculptor; Rebecca Odessa, painter and collage artist; Niamh Kelly, multimedia artist; Claire McMahon, painter; and Karl Garrett, mixed media artist/sculptor.

Artist demonstrations over the three-day festival weekend include:

  • John Caley, who has taught and practiced illustration, photography, graphic design and fine art, will be demonstrating his approach to watercolour
  • Shane Lucas, wood and clay sculptor

 In Douglas

The Sayle Gallery: Mother and daughter Julie and Alice Fayle, both textile artists, are exhibiting works and will be running wearable art and fashion workshops for young people on both the Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The Sayle will also be showcasing a selection of outfits from the Manx Wearable Art Show 2017 in one of the gallery windows.

Noa Bakehouse: Graham Rider’s exhibition of paintings inspired by the island will be on display until 2 May.

Sea Terminal: Isle of Architecture have arranged access to the Crow’s Nest, a rarely glimpsed part of the building, on Saturday 29 April between 10am and 8pm. Local musicians ‘Corkwing’ and ‘Sandfingers’ will be showing a specially created audio visual installation.

In Grenaby

The artists at Grenaby Studios who will be throwing open their doors and offering creative sessions are:

  • Rosie Glassey, designer and engraver, offering visitors the opportunity to create their own unique laser-engraved nightlight shade that will create interesting shadows on the walls
  • Nicola Dixon, artist and illustrator, demonstrating watercolour mixing
  • Graham Hall, wood artist and furniture maker, demonstrating wood turning and other techniques, with try-out sessions
  • Claire Pearse, jewellery maker, demonstrating jewellery creation
  • Painter Graham Rider is also opening his studio to visitors
  • St Johns-based painter Pauline Quaye is also exhibiting at Grenaby

In Castletown

Castletown Civic Centre: festival home to eight artists, including wildlife artist, landscape artist Ellie Baker, artist and illustrator Laura Espinosa, textile artist Maureen Kennaugh, and wood carver Gavin Carter.

Demonstrations and other activities:

  • Erica Kermode – sculpting animals in clay
  • Gavin Carter – wood carving
  • Maureen Kennaugh – free machine embroidery: ‘painting with needle, thread and stitch’
  • Helen Tate and Kirsten Penzes, IOM art degree graduates – giant installation made of found objects called Friendship
  • Daily film screening organised in collaboration with Castletown Chamber of Commerce and IOM College – Keith McIntyre’s film about Moylley yn Burroo, the ‘Drinking Dragon’ rock off the Calf of Man which he studied for a summer

Over the three-day festival weekend there will be additional art events, including children’s activities, organised by Castletown Chamber of Commerce and Commissioners – look out for updates on the Castletown Chamber of Commerce and Visit Castletown Facebook pages.

In Port Erin

Painter Petrina Kent is opening her studio for visitors to view her work, as well as hosting try-out painting sessions for all ages.

To stay up to date with news of venues, demos and activities, follow Creative Network IoM on Facebook.

To book your tickets click on the following link: IOM Art Festival Tickets