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

Wow! Talk about raising the bar. What an exciting show at The Sayle. I was at the preview on Friday evening and was really impressed with how cosmopolitan it feels.

When I called into the gallery last Wednesday it was in the process of being transformed. A wall had been built cordoning off around a third of the space which now hosts the Mark Wallinger exhibit but it still had to be clad in black fabric and the plinth that displays Kevin Atherton’s work had not even been started. I’ve no idea how they managed to pull it all off by Friday evening but they did and it’s been well worth the effort. The gallery would certainly stand up to scrutiny by any art professional and indeed, Michael Sandle RA, who I had the pleasure of being introduced to on Friday, was very happy to see the gallery fulfilling its remit.


I talked to Kevin Atherton for a few minutes about his work ‘Log’ which he made originally in 1981 and has now animated as ‘Log II’. It’s a series of sketches documenting his boat journey from the Isle of Man to Liverpool and was originally shown in Liverpool. He told me that he had thought about exhibiting it there again but feels that it’s more relevant to people who live on the Island and that he thinks they were more likely to understand it.

At the beginning of the series you can see the lifeboat station and the Tower of Refuge, then as you progress through the pages many of them turn to simple lines representing the horizon, some with seagulls. On average each sketch took 17 seconds to do and over the course of the 4 hour journey this translates to over 800 pages. As you  get towards the end of the journey the sketches capture the change in horizon and the Liverpool shoreline. I think if you were to look at this work without understanding it you would likely be critical. Indeed the original work has graffiti on it such as “6/10” which Kevin has addressed in his animation rather than removing it from the original pages.

When you visit the gallery do pick up the information sheet about the different exhibits as you will get so much more from the show if you take a few minutes to read through it. 

I asked Helen Fox, curator the show, a few questions just before the preview opened. Apologies for the background noise – people were starting to arrive as I recorded this. I’ve since ordered a tripod for my camera as my arms were aching trying to hold the camera still – and I need to do something about sorting the sound out too! It’s all a bit of a learning curve so please bear with me.

I also talked to Keith McIntyre briefly about his work (as it was getting quite busy and noisy by then) and managed to record just about the whole thing out of focus, and wobbly due to not knowing how to use my camera properly and the lack of a tripod, but it’s still interesting to hear what he says about his work.

Here are a few more photo’s, taken by someone who is obviously eminently more competent with a camera than me!  (As with all the photos you can click to view them in the lightbox).

It’s a great show and is on until 26th March so you’ve got a whole month to go and see it – don’t miss it because this could well be the best show of 2017.

 Julia Smyth and Nicola Dixon were finally able to reveal their latest commissions for the new mental health unit at Manannan Court which is due to open in March. The original works have been blown up in size to create these fabulous focal points. Julia’s ‘Road Map to Recovery’ is surrounded by works of the patients from the unit and her own lovely personality shines through – I love the road marker that says ‘Unexpected Hug’.

Nicola Dixon had a challenge on her hands as she usually works fairly small and was given a colour palette to work to, but she’s done a fantastic job I’m sure you’ll agree. As with Julia’s work, the picture has been enlarged for the reception area. It’s actually several pieces in one as the four corner pictures depict the names of the different suites – ‘Harbour’, ‘Glen’, ‘River’ and ‘Spring’ – although the ‘Spring’ suite has not yet been designed. They have been used on the signage around the building. Well done to both of them – and also to Simon Park who I believe has ‘a wonderfully serene wall in one of the lounges’, although I don’t have a picture of that to share with you as yet.

The Department of Economic Development has launched a new creative industries booklet. The booklet titled ‘Build a Career in the Creative Industries’ focuses on creative industries which produce wealth and jobs through the creation and exploitation of ideas using individual creativity, skills and talent.

Daphne Caine MHK, Political Member at the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Creative Industries, commented:

‘Creativity and innovation are key skills that can facilitate economic growth throughout all sectors of the economy. Creative Industries in the Isle of Man offer a range of diverse and exciting opportunities, often celebrating our unique culture and heritage. The Department of Economic Development is able to offer support to Creative Industry businesses via our grants assistance schemes, by providing networking opportunities and facilitating a wide range of projects which frequently include film and television productions.’

Jane Jelski, Senior Manager for Special Projects at the Department, added:

‘The Department also works with a range of partners to support collaboration and celebrate grass roots creative activity in the Isle of Man. This has included support for a range of events, workshops and regular industry skills development evenings held at Noa Bakehouse.’

Sub sectors included within the Creative Industries include advertising and marketing, architecture, crafts, design, IT, publishing, museums and heritage, performing and visual arts and film.

Build a Career in the Creative Industries is available to download at: Printed copies are available from the Department of Economic Development.

The Department of Economic Development, in partnership with the wider Isle of Man Creative Industries sector, is hosting the next networking and skills event for creative professionals from 6pm – 8pm, 16th March at Noa Bakehouse. The event is free to attend and pre-registration is not required.

Please contact for more information.

 Here are a few pictures for you from the current Hodgson Loom Exhibition which is the Isle of Man Photographic Society’s show. A nice little show to pop into if you’re in Laxey (and the tea and cake next door is very good too).

Dates for your Diary

On now – Rob Jones’s Drawn Steel Through the Seasons – Milntown Gardens, Ramsey

On now – Western Photographic Society Exhibition at the Manx Museum

On now – 24 February – Bob Hitchin’s Digi-rama at the Erin Arts Centre

On now – 11 March Manx Landscapes and Seascapes at The Isle Gallery (Group Show)

On now – 11 March Hodgson Loom – Isle of Man Photographic Society Exhibition

On now – 27  March – Turning Point at The Sayle Gallery

28 February – Cut off point for Creative Network Website update

1 March – Sarah Hendy’s new arts show on Manx Radio, 5.30 – 6.00pm (and every Wednesday)

6 March – Adult Workshop – Ceramic Decorative Dishes at The Isle Gallery 10.00am – 1.00pm

16 March 6.00pm – 8.00pm DED Networking and Skills event for creative professionals at Noa Bakehouse

27 March – Jimmy Duggan Solo Show at The Isle Gallery

And finally, here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media. The colour palette is a bit ‘same-y’ this week I think. Still, I hope you enjoy having a look through them.

Have a great week!

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 – 27 February 2017

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