It’s with heavy heart that I write this week, having to share the news with you (if you don’t already know) that The Sayle Gallery is being put into Administration after a long period of financial difficulties. The Sayle has been at the Villa Marina site since 2008 and was formerly the Courtyard Gallery in Tynwald Mills. It changed its name when it moved to Douglas in honour of the gallery’s patron, Norman Sayle. Let’s hope that other art spaces become available so that local artists have outlets for their work and if you want to do your bit to help then please support those that are left, buy local work and help to spread the word about what talented artists we have here on the Island. 



On a brighter note, Chrissie Moss opened her new show at the Hodgson Loom Gallery on Saturday to a packed house. ‘The Way of the Gull, et al’ is a lovely collection of work by this talented illustrator. With lots of feathers, fur and some of the locations where these lovely birdies and beasties can be found there is something for everyone. I did a little walk around video which you can see here.

Cover picture by Chrissie Moss.

Along with Chrissie’s fabulous paintings, fabulous curator Julia Ashby Smyth has included ceramics by Erica Kermode and a new artist I’ve not come across before, Alison Winckle. I was very impressed with this work and it’s always a delight to see emerging artists getting their work shown in galleries. 

Erica has been posting up some of her ‘work in progress’ pictures of her Raku firings which look like a lot of fun and a bit ‘Heath Robinson’. Raku ware is traditionally characterised by being hand-shaped rather than thrown, producing fairly porous vessels which result from low firing temperatures, lead glazes and the removal of pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot. In the traditional Japanese process, the fired raku piece is removed from the hot kiln and is allowed to cool in the open air. I think you’ll agree the result is rather gorgeous.

The Isle of Man Post Office launches its Christmas stamps today. An array of traditional folk customs which still form a part of people’s lives today feature in this new set of stamps highlighting a selection of Manx folk traditions.

Jay Cover

The stamps have been designed by Manx illustrator Jay Cover and were printed in Canada using a special Metal FX process that lends gleam and lustre. The collection includes a four-page presentation pack folder holding a mint set of the stamps, along with complementary issue text written by Valerie Caine, who brings to life the stories behind the Island’s folklore. Also included in the collection is a first day cover.

The traditions featured on the stamps include Hop tu Naa, Hunt the Wren and the Eve of Old Christmas Day.

Jay, who is associate lecturer on BA Illustration at Camberwell College Of Arts, lived on the Island until he was 21 and still has many family here.

Manx Stamps Jay Cover

The Isle of Man Society of Architects (SofA) is pleased to announce a short programme of events being held between the MANX NATIONAL HERITAGE open days, on 09 – 12 October 2018

These events build on the legacy of the recent Isle of Architecture Festival, which celebrated the Island’s diverse built environment and ended in July last year.  The festival presents an ‘edited highlights’ of the kinds of events that made up ‘Isle of Architecture’.

The 2018 ‘mini-festival’, supported by 2018 Year of Our Island, kicks off on Tuesday 09 October with a Pecha Kucha evening at NOA Bakehouse.  This exciting quick-fire presentation format sees participants illustrating their talks by showing 20 images for 20 seconds each!  There will be six presenters including local heritage experts and architects.

Wednesday 10 October will see SofA teaming up with the very popular Isle of Man Drawing Club, hosting an evening of sketching in the Villa Marina Arcade.  This partnership develops the Drawing Club’s offer from life drawing, fashion drawing and still life to include urban sketching.  The Villa Arcade presents interesting challenges in perspective drawing and there is plenty of Art Deco detailing to fascinate and delight.  The Wurlitzer Organ will be illuminated and the keyboard will be on display so there will be no shortage of variety and detail to challenge the sketchers.  The Drawing Club has proved hugely popular, offering an informal and supportive setting for budding artists of all abilities to sketch in a relaxed social setting.

On Thursday 11 October SofA will be presenting the film ‘Russian Ark’ as part of their ongoing films series based on the theme of ‘cities’.  ‘Russian Ark’ is an amazing film, shot in a single take entirely within the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.  The film will be shown at the Bath + Bottle in Victoria Street.

The festival finale will be a very special concert in Ramsey.  Ruth Keggin appeared at the closing Isle of Architecture concert in July 2017 and she has agreed to close the show for us again this year.  Ruth is a Manx Gaelic singer and instrumentalist of great renown and she will be appearing with Malcolm Stitt on guitar.  Also appearing will be Mera Royle.  Mera recently received the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2018 and we are very excited that to present these three amazing musicians in such an excellent space. 

The building itself is an architectural gem hidden in plain sight, an early church design by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.  You may be familiar with others of his work: Liverpool Cathedral, Battersea and Bankside Power Stations and the classic K6 red telephone box! 

The events are intended to be accessible to anyone with an interest in Manx culture and heritage and in architecture and the built environment.  The aim is to encourage the general public to notice and appreciate the buildings that surround them by holding events that engage with the structures and spaces in new ways.

The Archibald Knox Forum will be presenting a free exhibition at the Manx Museum entitled Archibald Knox – Artist, Designer and Teacher and it will run from 12 October 2018 to 13 January 2019.

On show will be many Knox pieces never seen on the Island before, together with a display of posters showing many facets of his life and work. These include watercolour and oil paintings, illuminated lettering, graphic design, photos by Knox, gravestone and memorial designs, sketches and documents from The Knox Guild of Design and Craft etc.

The exhibition is being supported by 2018 Year of Our Island, Manx National Heritage and Culture Vannin and the start date of 12th October ties in with the month of Heritage for the Year of Our Island celebrations.

During the exhibition period there will be a series of talks on several subjects, curatorial talks on the Deer’s Cry given by Yvonne Cresswell and visits to Douglas Borough Cemetery on a guided tour of the Knox designed graves. Details of these events can be found on the Manx National Heritage website under exhibitions. Other places of Knox interest may have guided tours arranged depending upon availability of guides and the Manx weather.


Dates for your Diary


On now  – Jigsaw2 by Adam Berry at The Isle Gallery

On now at The Hodgson Loom Gallery – Chrissie Moss ‘Way of the Gull, et al’

14 October – MNH – Archibald Knox – Douglas Borough Cemetery Designs

20 October – MNH – Archibald Knox – Industrial Espionage

21 October – MNH – Archibald Knox – Understanding Silver Hallmarks

24 October – MNH – Archibald Knox – The Deer’s Cry

27 October – MNH – Archibald Knox – Cymric and Tudric

October – Year of Our Island: Celebrating our Heritage


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


That’s it for this week. Do remember you can subscribe to the news to get it delivered to your inbox. Just fill in the form in the sidebar.

Have a great week!

Jane x

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Isle of Man Art News – 8 October 2018

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