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Douglas Market Hall redevelopment shortlisted for RIBA North West Award for Architecture

The recently completed redevelopment of the Douglas Market Hall is one of 11 schemes shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2019 North West Awards. Douglas architects horncastle:thomas submitted the entry for the scheme, which they worked on with London design studio, Brinkworth. The refurbishment of the building, first opened in 1899, was completed in January this year and reopened as the new home to Bikestyle and NOA. The refurbishment has proved incredibly popular and the building has been given a completely new lease of life.

The alterations reveal an amazing space and re-connect the building to its quayside setting. The historic fabric of the building has been repaired and conserved and a new L-shaped mezzanine installed. The new structure has been carefully designed not to dominate the double-height space, or detract from the Victorian structure. Douglas Fir plywood is used to perfectly offset the building’s original ironwork and brickwork.

horncastle:thomas Director, Karen Horncastle, said ’It’s a privilege, and a real achievement, for the project to have been shortlisted for these awards. This is brilliant news for us and for the Isle of Man and we’re delighted to have been selected alongside some excellent projects by some very high calibre architects. It’s been a fantastic project for us to work on; it’s great to have helped bring this building back to life. Market Hall couldn’t have been delivered to the standard that these awards demand without a great team and a client with real vision and a genuine aspiration to build a quality project for Douglas and the Island.’

The team also included Ash Developments (Main Contractor), BB Consulting Engineers (Structural Engineer), Cameron Hall (Quantity Surveyor), Stuart Clague Services (M+E engineer), Erin Building Services (Clerk of Works), SMS (Planning Supervisor) and Capstone (Risk Analysis + Fire Strategy).

Client, Market Hill Properties Director, Bronwen Raatgever said “We are so delighted that the project has been recognised in this way. We always knew that the team could create something excellent and we love the building but to have the RIBA recognise this is really the icing on the cake”.

RIBA North West interim director Tom Mills said: “The North West region continues to play host to a remarkable array of delightful, carefully-crafted buildings. I congratulate all practices who have been shortlisted in this competitive process. The longlist for the 2019 North West Awards was of exceptional high calibre, with entries received from a range of national and international practices. It’s great to see so many North West-based practices in the running, representing the wealth of talent in our region.”

All shortlisted buildings will be assessed by a regional jury. The winners will be announced at an awards evening and reception at Manchester School of Art on Wednesday, May 8. Regional award winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will be announced in June.

horncastle:thomas is a RIBA Chartered Practice formed in February 2011 in Douglas by Karen Horncastle and Martyn Thomas. Both RIBA Chartered Architects: Karen has worked in the Isle of Man for over twenty years; Martyn worked for two leading architectural practices in North West England before returning home in August 2010.

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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: 

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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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