I was in the south of the island on Saturday, doing a bit of cleaning and organising at The Engine House, and had every intention of going to the Southern Show. The weather, however, was particularly nasty for such escapades and I know the Keird Collective for one couldn’t manage to get set up in the challenging conditions and regrettably decided to pack up and go home. I decided after 4 hours of cleaning (it’s a big old space) that enough was enough and decided on a gentler way to round up the day, so headed to Port St Mary to see how Petrina Kent was enjoying being artist in residence at Studio 42 for a few weeks.

Petrina was in great form and I was delighted to see a few of her gorgeous pics with ‘sold’ dots on them. Unfortunately – or indeed fortunately depending on how you look at it, I didn’t get much chance to chat as the gallery filled up with people wanting to buy things. I left her to it but took a couple of photos to share with you before wending my weary way back to Ramsey. To his credit my lovely hubby had dinner ready for me when I got back, so all in all a pretty good day I’d say, despite not making it to the show.


I get asked to do all kinds of interesting things and last week I got a very nice email from author Susie Heckles, asking if I would like to review her new book “Ffynlo, Patch and a Magical Manx Half Term”. Of course I said yes, and spent a delightful half hour or so reading the story and looking at Julie Roberts’s lovely illustrations.

The story is about two children who come to visit their great uncle during their half term holidays. It’s full of faeries and magical goings on as well as real life things to do for people visiting the Island, a lovely mix which should fire up the imagination of many young people I would think. The story tells how the children become friends with Ffynlo, a Loaghtan sheep, and Patch, a friendly farm dog. With the stories and information Ffynlo tells the children their visit to the Isle of Man becomes all the more special. My copy of the book arrived with its very own rosette and a book mark. Here are a few pictures. The book costs £9.95 and is available at Culture Vannin, The Manx Wildlife Trust Shop, the Lexicon and The Bridge Bookshops in Port Erin and Ramsey.


Good luck to Janet Lees, not that such a talented lady needs it. She’s off to represent the Island at Lorient and is sharing the space with the artist from Scotland. Janet told me she has 22 art photography pieces, each paired with a poem, plus a reel of her poetry films showing on an LCD screen with headphones. She will also be hosting the creation of a collaborative poem, along the same lines as the one she did at the Art Festival three years ago where people write a single memory on a strip of paper, starting with the words ‘I remember’ or ‘Je me Souviens’ (or any other language they would like to use), and so end up with a multicultural collaborative poem of memories. Here are a few of Janet’s beautiful photos I have stashed in my library. I’ve picked a couple of older ones as it’s always nice I think to pick out ones you’ve forgotten about.


Artreach Studios at the Isle Gallery is hosting a collection of new paintings by the fabulous Ellie Baker. Ellie is a landscape artist with a distinct style that draws the viewer in, sets the imagination to work and calls for detailed inspection. She works mainly from memory and imagination, combining remembered elements from the Island’s land and seascapes. I find her choice of colour and the way she expresses her style to be captivating and I certainly rate her among some of the best artists on the Island.

The preview is on Sunday 5th August from 2.00pm to 4.30pm, where you can meet Ellie and discuss the journey of her creations. It will be a fabulous show I am sure so do go to the preview as I think her work will be very well received. 


I spotted these lovely pictures by Dawn Kennaugh this week. Dawn is preparing for the Royal Show, 10th and 11th August where you will be able to see and buy more of her work. You can follow Dawn’s art page here.


Phil Kneen reported that he’s just picked up a nice commision from Huck Magazine – shooting ‘gritty, honest portraits of travelling surfers in South-west France’.

However, he says that what he knows about surfing could be written on the back of a postage stamp, so if anyone has contacts on the Atlantic coast between Bordeaux and San Sebastian he would really appreciate a hook-up. He will be there for a couple of weeks in early October. Here’s one of his recent ‘watery’ images that rather caught my eye.


Ongky Wijana is incredibly talented. Whilst he’s based out in Bali he is linked to the Island via his work on the beautiful labyrinth in the grounds of Peel Cathedral. Here is some of his latest work. I saw the mandala first and had no concept of its size – then I saw the second photo of it a bit later and was blown away by the scale of it. Oh and just a stone Komodo dragon too….. it’s so life-like! Awesome work.


Dates for your Diary


On now at the Hodgson Loom Gallery – ‘The Eyes of the House & Other Pictures’ by David Swinton

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

On now at Studio 42 – ‘The Manx Landscape Afresh’ by Petrina Kent – Artist in Residence

On now until 5 August – ‘Have I Got News for Yessir’ by Phil Woodford at the House of Manannan

July – Year of Our Island: Culture Month

7 July – 2 September – Williamson Art Gallery and Museum (Birkenhead) – Tom Wood and Cian Quayle

Opening 4 August – Chinese artist Li Jianxun at The Sayle Gallery – sponsored by Manninvest

Opening 5 August to 16 September – Ellie Baker’s “Light Confection” at The Isle Gallery


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 – 30th July 2018

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