If there’s one thing for certain on our little Island it’s that we have an amazing variety of wonderfully talented Artists. Last weekend we had the opening of Bruno Cavellec’s solo show ‘Lifted’ at The Isle Gallery and this week saw the opening of  ‘Elemental’ at the Hodgson Loom Gallery above Laxey Woollen Mills. Very different styles for sure but it’s the quality of all the Artists currently showing that I think is quite remarkable. I talked about Bruno’s show in the news last week and Manx Radio has very kindly sent me an edited version of his radio interview which I have added to his Artist page on  the Directory and have also included HERE if you would like to listen to it, so this week I’d like to tell you about ‘Elemental’….

I was very excited on Monday evening to receive an invitation from Julia Ashby Smyth to a ‘pre-Preview ‘on Thursday evening before the Preview itself on Friday. She tried to lure me in with the promise of cakes, tea and a naked torso or two and whilst my ears did prick up at the prospect of a naked torso, I didn’t really need any encouragement at all and was delighted to take up her offer. When I arrived shortly before 6pm, a lot of the show was hung or otherwise in place but there was still a fair amount to get done. There are three Artists’ work making up the Exhibition, Julia’s work, Neil Milsom and Liz Cowin. Julia is a fabulous curator and has a real talent for knowing which Artists’ work goes well together as evidenced by other shows I’ve seen at the gallery this year. Her ethereal works, mostly in pencil, of mythicial folk and creatures, contrast yet compliment Neil’s stone sculptures, honed and polished, some with runic symbols and others with gilding. Liz Cowin’s large scale pictures add an element of colour and pageantry which is also reflected in her beautifully crafted crown and cuff. There’s a wonderful essence of something ancient and powerful emanating from these works. Perhaps it appeals to me particularly from my love of reading fantasy as a young adult, but even if it’s not your cup of tea it’s still well worth going to see simply to appreciate the skill and craft of these three Artists.

These pictures are best viewed in the Lightbox – click on any image to view.

I recorded a bit of conversation on my phone with Julia to send to Manx Radio as I was on the show to do my monthly Art round-up on Friday with Colleen Corlett. I don’t know how to edit these things yet and my skills as a radio presenter need a fair bit of work, but you can listen to the clip HERE. Apologies for the first 15-20 seconds which are crackly and didn’t work and the comment at the end about hoping it worked! It’s about 6 minutes in all but interesting to hear a bit of the story behind a couple of the pictures on show. ‘Elemental’ is open Monday – Saturday, 9am to 5pm and the show runs until 5 November.

minilogoMoving onto Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of being on the wireless with Colleen and the Women Today ladies. Colleen’s solo show ‘Answering the Need to Create’ at The Sayle Gallery also promises to be something special and it encompasses a broad range of mediums – everything from embroidery to pastels and watercolours to sand blasted glass with lots of other goodies in between. Colleen is very modest about her work – it was only that I had coffee with her a couple of weeks ago that I knew about the two illuminated pieces of work that have been presented to the Queen, otherwise I doubt she would have mentioned it. Many people will know Colleen’s work without even realising it as she worked for the Post Office for 15 years and designed many of our stamps. She says that the nice thing about our stamps is that the Artist is allowed to have their name on them which doesn’t happen in many other places, including the UK and – just name-dropping again for emphasis, the Queen has to review and approve all of the stamp designs before they can be used, so she must be pretty familiar with Colleen’s work. If it’s good enough for the Queen then I’m pretty sure it’s pretty good 🙂

Colleen’s show opens at The Sayle Galley on Friday 14th October with the Preview on the evening of Thursday 13th.

minilogoSally Black’s exhibition at Noa Bakehouse also opens this week. I don’t know much about this one but I do know Sally’s work so I’m looking forward to going along to the Preview on Wednesday. If it is as I expect it will certainly be worth having a ‘waddle’ along to take a look – you can even have a coffee while you appreciate the Artwork and you never know, you might even get to start your Christmas shopping early.

minilogoThis is slightly ‘left field’ for the Directory but I couldn’t resist some further bragging about what amazingly creative and artistic folk this Island turns out. Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, the owners and designers behind international fashion brand ‘Preen’ grew up and were educated on the Island. There was a good article in the Guardian recently which a few Artists who know them picked up on and I’ve included a link to it HERE. They were in the press again recently when the Duchess of Cambridge wore one of their dresses to a reception in Government House in Victoria, British Columbia.

minilogoThere’s a lovely new Artist page on the Directory: Andrew MacKellar. Andy’s work is vibrant and emotive and I’m delighted to be able to show you his work. Here is a sample for you.

minilogoI do like a good photo and it was great to see that Cian Quayle has been wielding his camera recently. Cian had an exhibition earlier this year at The Sayle Gallery, ‘Points of Departure’, which spanned a thirty year period. The exhibition investigated ideas of ‘place’ and what lies between ‘home’ and elsewhere. Cian was born and raised on the Isle of Man and studied the Foundation course at the Isle of Man College. He went on to study painting and printmaking at Bradford College, then gained an MA in Fine Art at Winchester School of Art and finally a PhD from Camberwell College of Arts (University of Arts London).

minilogoClaire Pearse from Element.isle posted up a very good idea on FB this week, saying that this year she would like to buy as many Christmas gifts as she can from Facebook friends who own small businesses whether it be handbags, jewellery, candles, pampering products, clothes, handmade crafts, books or art. As she says, we should buy from those we know! The idea is that you post ONE link to your business in the comments section (ie your Facebook page, Etsy shop etc.) then copy and paste the post as your status so that the original person posting can comment on your post. That way any friends can look through the links for their Christmas shopping and in so doing support local families directly.

To take this a step further, and because FB threads easily and quickly get lost, I’ve decided to create a Christmas page for ANY local craft or small business (such as those mentioned above) to have a link to their shop page. It will look a lot like the main Artist Directory page but when you click on the picture the hyperlink will take you directly to the relevant store or FB page, so even if you don’t have an online store you can still advertise your business.

All you need to do is send one image of less than 100kb in size to represent your business and the URL of your shop page. The cost is free to Premium Members of the Directory, £5.00 for Artists with listings and £10 to all other businesses and we will all benefit from the advertising. The Christmas shop page will be available until the end of December.

minilogoDates for your  Diary:

On now – Autumnal Show – Sheena Graham-George at Studio 42

On now to 30 October – Bruno Cavellec – Solo show ‘Lifted’ at The Isle Gallery

On now to 5 November – Elemental at the Hodgson Loom Gallery

On now through to 19 November – Manx Museum – ‘Islands and Bridges’ The Art of Roger Dean

13 October – 2 November – Sally Black at Noa Bakehouse

13 October – 20 November – Colleen Corlett “Answering the Need to Create” at the Sayle Gallery

14 October – 28 October – Svetlana Cameron – Solo Exhibition – 37 Kensington High Street, London

20 October – Creative Industries Public Meeting No. 6 at Noa Bakehouse, 6pm

25 October – Make your own Breakfast Bowl and Spoon – The Isle Gallery, 10am

25 October – Ceramic Hands Family Art Workshop – The Isle Gallery, 2pm

26 October – The Book of Life Art Workshop- The Isle Gallery – 10am

26 October – Teens & Tweens Art Masterclass, Collage Landscape – The Isle Gallery – 6pm

minilogoFinally, here is my usual round up of images found on social media this week. Enjoy.

minilogoPlease Share these updates with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists.

Have a great week!


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Isle of Man Art News – 10 October 2016