Well, as if life isn’t challenging enough, the people behind the WordPress theme I use on this website decided to do a MAJOR overhaul since my last post, to the point that the back-end of it is barely recognisable, which consequently means it’s like going back to learning the alphabet in terms of getting a post together for you this week.

I’ve no idea who decided it was a good idea to change EVERYTHING a couple of weeks before Christmas when everyone is busy enough as it is but just in case you couldn’t guess, I’m not happy about it. I’m sure it will all be wonderful once I’ve had a chance to get used to it and figure out what everything does but just right now is not exactly perfect timing. So apologies if this all looks a little unusual, hopefully the content will be up to scratch!

One of the reasons the news has been a bit sporadic in recent weeks is my commitment to the Engine House. However, I continue to strive to help Artists as much as possible and this week will be hosting a charity coffee morning on Thursday 13 December from 10am – 12pm, selling original artwork and prints. As the current exhibition by Sally Black and Chrissie Moss contains a lot of natural history subjects it seemed like a good idea to choose the Manx Wildlife Trust as the recipient of 10% of any art sales made on the day – plus all of the proceeds from coffee/tea/hot chocolate. 

In addition to work by Sally and Chrissie you will also find some originals and prints by Anna Clucas, Juan Moore, Rebecca Odessa and Patricia Tutt so hopefully there will be something to suit everyone’s taste. Please do come along if you can and if it’s easier to come over lunch time for you then the doors will be open and some of the profits from your purchases will still go to the charity.

Manx artist Kevin Atherton got a rather good review in comparison to Sir Anthony Gormley recently from Robert James on the website The Conservative Woman. He writes: 
“It is hard not to think that despite their diverse locations, Gormley’s artless figures are all about him. Compare and contrast his endless dull repetition to Kevin Atherton’s 1986 Platform Pieces at Brixton Station in South London. Life-sized sculptures of three people chosen from the area, two black, one white, have stood on the platform for more than 30 years (I feel like that sometimes when waiting for a train on the Southern network, but that is beside the point). I have passed them many times over the years and thought how much better they are in concept and execution than world-famous Gormley’s attempts at universalism. These are portraits of real people by an artist looking out at the world. They also have a common bond with us. They are monuments to individuals and to the dignity and mystery of the individual. For those interested in politically correct Brownie points, Atherton’s now Grade-II listed Platform Pieces are said to be the first public sculptures of black people in Britain. I am a stern critic of publicly funded art but British Rail, miraculously, got it right when they commissioned the now evidently forgotten Atherton.”

I don’t have a photograph of his sculptures as the ones in the link above are protected by copyright, but thought I would share another rather fabulous piece of work by Kevin instead: 
‘Cathedral’, 15ft x 10ft, Kevin Atherton 1986.

Grenaby Studios has been MEGA busy with hundreds of people flocking to this hub of loveliness to find some really special locally made gifts. Super popular as always, Claire of Element.Isle has increased her gorgeous droplet range and new artists showing and selling their work there include Vici Blackburn with her gorgeous papier mache bowls and Debra Tracey-Carney who’s fused glass reindeer, wrens, robbins, snowmen, three legs and penguins have  been hot favourites. If you haven’t managed to get there yet – or fancy another trip – they will be open for late night shopping on Thursday 13th from 5pm to 9pm.

This lovely photo was taken by Catherine Kennedy.

Many people will have seen Darren Jackson’s awesome ice sculpture of the plane in Strand Street on 1 December which was sponsored by Wi-Manx, however, you might not have seen this Game Boy which was made for Newfields. Stunning I’m sure you’ll agree.

Staying with a Christmassy theme, Elaine Edge aka Wonderwalls by Elli, pulled out all the stops at Woodbourne House with this spectacular Narnia themed decor. Huge congratulations to her on a really fabulous piece of work.

Phil Kneen has again been venturing out on the fishing boats to document life at sea for his MA. Not surprsingly this is building into a really interesting and, I would say, important body of work. There’s such honesty to it, capturing the gritty and somewhat brutal way of life of the guys who go to sea to feed us landlovers.

Janet Lees is such a fabulous creative. Not only can she craft wondrous words, she also has such a great eye for capturing what most of us would completely overlook. This picture is from her recent journey home taken at Gatwick airport.

Erica Kermode has had a very tough year but it hasn’t deterred her creativity in the slightest. Taking a wee break from the gorgeous Raku pots she has been making in recent months Erica has been having a bit of a 2D phase.

It’s always a pleasure to meet a new Artist and I was delighted to discover Amanda Quellin’s significant talent at the weekend. Amanda came for a look around The Engine House and as we got chatting it became obvious that she’s someone who should definitely be on the Directory’s radar. Currently studying for her MA in children’s book illustration she’s a super-busy lady and hasn’t had much opportunity to create new work recently but I’m looking forward to following her career from here on in.

I think I might squeeze in one more art news before the end of the year. We will have a change of show at The Engine House after 15th December and once I have the promotional information I will be sharing that with you at least. 

That’s it for this week. Do remember you can subscribe to the news to get it delivered to your inbox. Just fill in the form in the sidebar.

Have a great week!

Jane x

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Isle of Man Art News – 10 December 2018

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