One of my day-job colleagues mentioned last week that there are only 5 weeks left of school until the summer holidays, which I was quite shocked to hear as my children have left school and the term dates are no longer on my radar. Five weeks! And then, to further support the truth of this the End of Year Exhibition invitation from the Isle of Man College (now University College Isle of Man) popped up in my inbox.

What a great show. There really is some fabulous work on display and the range of mediums used and diversity of ideas really does evidence the skill sets being taught at the College. I’m including a few pictures that I snapped on my jazzy new camera that I don’t know how to use because I’ve only read the first half of the manual. (Does anyone ever really make it all the way to the end of those things?). 

I was particularly taken with Lucy Pendlebury’s ceramics (first and third photo below and the featured image this week) and was vindicated in my choice when she won one of the awards presented on the evening for her work. Lucy is heading off to university in September so it will be exciting to see how her skills develop over the next 3 years. 


Click on the pictures to view them in the lightbox.

Other young artists that particularly caught my eye were Grace Harrop with her mixed media pieces made with wax amongst other things (picture bottom middle) and also Isobel Heath (2 of her pics below), who told me that she started concentrating on doing portraits during life drawing classes so that she didn’t have to draw any gentlemen’s bits. I don’t think she’ll mind too much that I’ve put that in the news as she did write something along those lines in her Artist’s Statement. I can’t name everyone in here who I thought was good (and there were many), so I will leave it to you to decide for yourself. You can go into the College to see the exhibition during normal College hours – the show is on until 28th June.


minilogoJulia Smyth at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey nearly made me spit my coffee out laughing this week when she emailed to say that unfortunately Michael Starkey had had to unfortunately cancel his exhibition at the last minute so there was now “nowt on in the gallery this week other than performance art entitled, ‘Curator Meltdown’. Private viewings only”. Being the true professional she is though, Julia pulled it together and now has an exciting show lined up called ‘Summer Invitational’ featuring Howard Shimmin, Rebecca Odessa, Clara Nathan and Kasia Mirska. Here is a wee preview of what you can expect to see. It looks like it’s going to be a really vibrant and colourful show. It opens next Saturday, 25th June at 2.00pm and then runs until 16th July.


minilogoBearing in mind that the School holidays are, as mentioned, only 5 weeks away, the ArtReach Studios ladies at the Isle Gallery have published their latest schedule of Summer workshops for children which should be a lot of fun. I have, in a rash moment (I wasn’t drunk, honestly…), enrolled onto the Frida Khalo adult workshop next weekend. Given that I just about know which end of a pencil to use and my artistic prowess extends to drawing stick people I confess I am slightly terrified. At least I should have something amusing for you to laugh at in the news next week. On at the Isle Gallery right now is a joint exhibition – Bryony Harrison and Brigid Stowell. Their work sits very well together. The stand out piece for me I think is Brigid’s picture of the Gaiety on a rainy night which she described as ‘a squinter’! 


minilogoIf you missed the BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree Show – Essentia – which opened in May and closed last week, the College has kindly sent me this video which I am delighted to be able to share with you. All the assessments have now been done and it is a case of waiting for grades, always a nervous time. I thought the quality of the work was really wonderful and on my visit on one of the last days before the show was taken down I had the opportunity to ask Bryan Moore about the words he had used to ‘set the scene’ for his work. I thought perhaps he had found literature which had inspired him but it turned out that he is not only a brilliant Artist but also an awesome descriptive writer as well. Definitely keep an eye out for all of these talented folk as I am sure we will be seeing great things from them in the future: Bryan Moore, Kirsti Penzes, Helen Tate and Rosie Wood.




minilogoAnd finally – a week wouldn’t be a week without squeezing in one of Bruno’s pictures somewhere. Here is his latest picture Miserere, and I just love it. Also, last minute breaking news ….. Jimmy Duggan now has a page on the Directory – a very warm welcome to him.


minilogoIf you enjoy these news updates, please Share them with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists. 

Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter @manxart. You can also ‘Subscribe’ using the button top right of the screen.

Have a great week!


Isle of Man Art News – 20 June 2016