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

A new exhibition opened at the Hodgson Loom gallery in Laxey this weekend and I called in on Saturday to have a look at it and to catch-up with Julia Smyth. The show has taken a lot of  putting together with 102 entries this year – not quite beating the previous record of 110 entries – but it’s probably as well or else there wouldn’t be sufficient space to hang it all. This year’s theme is ‘Time’. The first competition was ‘Wool’ and now in its sixth year, other themes have been ‘Earth’, ‘Fire’, ‘Water’ and ‘Air’.

It’s a wonderfully diverse show with many interpretations on the theme and a good selection of work in a variety of mediums. Julia said entries have been received from well known, established artists right through to some of our young, school age, aspiring artists. All of the entries are numbered to make it easy to vote for your favourite piece and judging will take place in the next few weeks with the winners announced during the last week of January. The show will stay up for another week after the results have been announced to allow people time to view the winning entries.

The Gallery and the Woollen Mills are open between Christmas and New Year and it’s one of those places to visit and lovely kind of things you can do in the holidays when you’ve got a bit of time on your hands (sorry) with the family. As well as the Gallery and the Woollen Mills there are a couple of other units in the complex (including Presence of Mann which stocks work by local artists) and of course there’s the cafe for a cuppa and a piece of cake. A nice walk on Laxey beach followed by home and feet up by the fire …. sounds idyllic to me!


My first Christmas gift of the year has already been given and enjoyed! I bought a young lady a place on the Isle Gallery’s ‘Children’s DIY Christmas Gifts’ workshop which was on Saturday afternoon and was very pleased indeed to receive a beautiful hand made card with LOTS of glitter on it. The kids made hand-printed wrapping paper, soaps, bath bombs, glittery Christmas cards and decorated candles amongst other things. I don’t know how they fitted it all in! It looks like a good time was had by all – here’s a video clip of them in action.

The Isle Gallery runs workshops all year round for both adults and children from complete beginners through to more advanced techniques for those who have some experience. Some of you might remember my wall panel effort back in the summer (although I realise there are some things that are best forgotten) so I can say with authority that these really are great, fun classes and an excellent way to ‘have a go’ without spending a fortune on art equipment if you’re not sure whether or not you’ll enjoy it.

New Year is a great time to write that list for 2017, so if you’ve been toying with the idea of doing a bit of art, instead of writing down lots of unrealistic goals that last a month why not do something you might enjoy and stick at and book an art workshop? They’re very affordable too. You can follow the Isle Gallery’s Facebook page, check out their website or just keep an eye on what’s coming up here on the Directory.

I’ve drawn up a wee survey to see what people think about the Directory and what you would like to see in the coming months. It’s still open so you can have your say, good or bad, and it’s totally anonymous so don’t be embarrassed about putting down what you think. The initial results are interesting. I’m planning on doing another short survey soon and will release the results in due course. If you could complete this one I’d really appreciate it – it’s only 7 questions so hopefully should only take you a few minutes:

I’m very grateful for all your support this year in getting the Directory established and would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and every good wish for the New Year. Rather than favour one local artist over another (and to give you all a giggle) I drew my own Christmas Card for you. I’ve now realised of course that it’s  lacking in copious amounts of glitter, but hey ho (or perhaps that should be ‘ho ho ho’?).

Manx National Heritage has been a great supporter of the Directory this year and I was delighted to see that they have surpassed 10,000 Facebook likes. There is an interesting post pinned to the top of their page from the Director dated 11 November (I hadn’t picked up on it until now). It’s worth a read and good to see that the iMuseum is such a great success, so congratulations to them. I was also interested to see that they have recently launched an exclusive new range of products based on the Manx National Art Collection. Placemats, fridge magnets, note books and more are available from the Manx Museum and House of Manannan.

MNH is currently seeking a talented Communications Executive to join their busy team which sounds like fun. It’s described as “a fascinating role working on the promotion of the Isle of Man’s most unique historic places, spaces and museum collections. If you are a creative, fun loving and hard working individual interested in developing your career in marketing and communications, we’d be interested in hearing from you.” The closing date is 8 January and you can click here to download the job description.  You can also contact the Communications Manager by email at or call 01624 648032.

Check out B43D’s interview on ITV news here:

Featherhead is the latest Truman Falls album cover designed by Bruno Cavellec. Bruno’s first love is, somewhat surprisingly you might think, music rather than art so it seems to be a good path for him to follow combining his passion for both music and art by designing album covers. He’s been super busy recently. As well as Featherhead he posted up his recent picture ‘The Sea V’ – and then there was his visit to Manx Radio to talk to Christy deHaven on Sunday Soundtrack which I mentioned in last week’s news and he’s also been manning the Artisan Market at Tynwald Mills which is open every day this week, Monday-Friday 10am- 5pm and Wednesday late night opening till 9pm. He even squeezed in a few minutes to meet Santa!

Alice Quayle’s ace ‘Yessir I can Boogie’ t-shirts have, unsurprisingly, been a huge success and are currently sold out! She says she’s up to her ears in a commission at the moment but will be in touch very soon if you’ve ordered one. If you’re interested in being on the list for the next print run please drop her a line Alice says she’s not sure when the next print run will be quite yet but the more of you who put orders in the sooner it will be is my guess. They are £13 each and printed locally, in Peel – plus p&p of course if need be.

Dates for your Diary

On now to 23 December – Paul Parker – Aspects of Man at The Sayle Gallery (the Gallery will then be closed until 20 January for refurbishment)

On now to 23 December – Christmas Shop at The Sayle Gallery

On now until Christmas – Nancy Corkish, David Bryne and Friends at The Isle Gallery

On now through December – Studio 42’s Christmas Show

On now to the beginning of February – Hodgson Loom Open Art Competition show

20 December – The Isle Gallery – Christmas Lantern Family Art Workshop (10am)

20 December – The Isle Gallery – Teens’ Masterclass – Christmas Screen Printing

21 December – The Isle Gallery – The Snow Queen – Classic Art and Literature (10am)

21 December – The Isle Gallery – Children’s Winter Art Camp (2pm)

9 January – 24 February – Bob Hitchin’s Digi-rama at the Erin Arts Centre

20 January – 19 February – Ruth Blindell and Laura Espinosa at The Sayle Gallery

Here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media. I’ve reverted to the thumbnail pictures which you can click on the view in the gallery as that seems to be the more popular choice.

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

Please note that I’m taking next weekend off so there will be no news next Monday. Have a wonderful Christmas! 

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. 

Isle of Man Art News – 19 December 2016