It’s a veritable art fest at the moment. There’s so much on and so much quality art to see it makes my wee heart sing. I called into the new exhibition at The Hodgson Loom on my way home from work on Friday night (perfect timing for me) to find a packed gallery, both with people and treasures. I say treasures because this is what this show really captures for me. Not only are Ray’s photographs as beautiful as ever, and Niamh’s exquisite little sculptures just as captivating, but there are items that have been rescued from the Tholtan in the making that was the home of Harvey and Laura Briggs in Onchan like these beautiful little teddy bears and Laura’s button box.


The following is an extract which Niamh has included in the lovingly assembled scrap book documenting some of the story of Harvey and Laura Briggs’ life, this relating Niamh’s feelings for these very ‘Real’ teddys.

From the Velveteen Rabbit (1922) by Margery Williams

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it does not happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

How beautifully put. Mind you, I’m feeling pretty ‘Real’ myself these days – I’m definitely getting loose in the joints, I’m pretty shabby most of the time and I’m just waiting for bits to start dropping off…. any day now I reckon 🙂

I spent most of Saturday in Castletown at the Engine House but timed it with purpose so that I could go to the opening of Petrina Kent’s new show, ‘Deeper’, at the Sayle Gallery. Petrina was telling me that she’s been bringing realism into her work and using larger brush strokes – very successfully I might add. This is a gorgeous show; check out the little walk around video I did.



The Sovereign Art Foundation Students Prize launched in the Isle of Man for the first time in 2017. Artworks of high calibre have been sumitted for this year’s competition and having seen them I can say they really are testament to the quality of young talent on the island.

All secondary schools and colleges in the Isle of Man are invited to nominate the best artworks produced by their students. All artworks are assessed by a judging panel who then shortlist 12 finalists. The process is now at the stage where the finalists’ works are on display at The Sayle Gallery and the public is invited to vote for their favourite piece. The top 3 artworks with the most public votes will be awarded the top 3 prizes. Additionally, an artwork with the highest combined judges’ score will be awarded a Judge’s prize.

The Sovereign Art Foundation Students Prize aims to celebrate the importance of art in the education system and recognise the quality of art that can be produced by students in the Isle of Man. At the same time it also aims to raise funds in aid of a local children’s charity, as well as The Sovereign Art Foundation and its many meaningful projects. 

This is just a sample (with no particular personal preference). To vote either go into The Sayle and see them for yourself (highly recommended) or you can view and vote online here.


Dates for your Diary


On now until 7 October at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester – ‘Monumental Rage’ – Michael Sandle, RA

On now until 16 September – Ellie Baker’s ‘Light Confection’ at The Isle Gallery

On now at The Sayle Gallery – ‘Deeper’ by Petrina Kent

On now at The Sayle Gallery – The Sovereign Art Prize (go and vote for your favourite)

On now at The Hodgson Loom Gallery – ‘T’oltans Reclaimed’ by Ray and Niamh Kelly

September – Year of Our Island: Our Festivals

On now – Natalie Norton – ‘Under the Cloak’ at the Erin Arts Centre

11 September – Mike Kewley Mindfulness Drop in Session at The Engine House, Castletown 7pm-9pm

15 September – Oh My Pen & Press – Intro to Brush Lettering Calligraphy Workshops (2 options available)

22 September – Oh my Pen & Press – Modern Calligraphy for Beginners (2 options available)


Here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media. Click on the pictures to view in the lightbox.


Have a great week!

Jane x

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Isle of Man Art News – 10 September 2018

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