Isle of Man Art News – 15 April 2019

As many of you will know, I’ve been busy busy of late which is why there hasn’t been much in the way of news updates. That’s not to say there’s nothing going on because of course there is. Current shows on at the local galleries are ‘Africa’ at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey, a kaleidoscope of colour, which opened on 23rd March and Graham Rider’s beautiful ‘Hinterland’ exhibition at Isle Contemporary, Tynwald Mills.

One of the main reasons for putting together a quick news post this week though is to let you know about the Isle of Man Art Society’s Spring Show (it’s usually called the Easter show) sponsored by Moore Stephens. This year the show is in a new venue, St. Ninian’s lower school, and having visited for the first time on the preview night and then again for a more leisurly walk around earlier today, I have to say it is a great improvement with a lovely high ceiling giving the feeling of plenty of space.

The show is open to the public from 10am to 5pm daily and closes on Wednesday, so you have a limited opportunity to see it. There’s a huge variety of work on show with 422 exhibits, most of them very affordably priced. Here’s another little walk around video I did just to give you a bit of a taster.

Mother T’s in Laxey is doing a fantastic job of supporting Artists and currently has a show on by Graham Joughin “The Earth Does Not Move”. I haven’t had a chance to go and see it yet but it’s on until the end of April so there’s a bit of time yet.

Coming up at The Engine House we have the Preview of our Art Festival show on 2nd May. If you’d like to come along please reserve your free ticket via Eventbrite:

It should be a great show and all being well, we will have better lighting installed by then to show the work off to its best. The Preview is from 6.30pm and all are welcome but please do book as numbers will be capped.

In other news, the fabulous Stephanie Quayle is in Japan with husband Darren Jackson at present preparing for a new show. Here are a couple of Darren’s photos of work in progress….. Looks amazing doesn’t it?

Super busy Julia Ashby Smyth has been chosen to represent the Island this year at the annual Festival Interceltique de Lorient. A fabulous choice but seriously, how this lady manages to fit everything in I have no idea!

Isle of Man ABC creator, Gemma Hjerth, who’s book ‘M is for Manx Cat’ is pictured here in Bridge Bookshop. It’s so great to see collaborations abounding on the island – the illustrations are by Kim Gee Studio, with the book a wonderful celebration of all things Manx.

Staying with books, Bruno Cavellec has illustrated the cover of a new Manx songbook. ‘A Quiet Way’ is a collection of songs which represents a musical direction not often travelled by Manx composers. Culture Vannin posted “It is brilliant to celebrate and encourage the great breadth and diversity of music on the Isle of Man in all its forms”.

Here’s this week’s gallery.

That’s it for the next couple of weeks. If you’d like to get the news delivered to your inbox so you don’t miss it now that’s it’s not every week just fill in the form in the sidebar.

Jane x

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Douglas Market Hall redevelopment shortlisted for RIBA North West Award for Architecture

The recently completed redevelopment of the Douglas Market Hall is one of 11 schemes shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2019 North West Awards. Douglas architects horncastle:thomas submitted the entry for the scheme, which they worked on with London design studio, Brinkworth. The refurbishment of the building, first opened in 1899, was completed in January this year and reopened as the new home to Bikestyle and NOA. The refurbishment has proved incredibly popular and the building has been given a completely new lease of life.

The alterations reveal an amazing space and re-connect the building to its quayside setting. The historic fabric of the building has been repaired and conserved and a new L-shaped mezzanine installed. The new structure has been carefully designed not to dominate the double-height space, or detract from the Victorian structure. Douglas Fir plywood is used to perfectly offset the building’s original ironwork and brickwork.

horncastle:thomas Director, Karen Horncastle, said ’It’s a privilege, and a real achievement, for the project to have been shortlisted for these awards. This is brilliant news for us and for the Isle of Man and we’re delighted to have been selected alongside some excellent projects by some very high calibre architects. It’s been a fantastic project for us to work on; it’s great to have helped bring this building back to life. Market Hall couldn’t have been delivered to the standard that these awards demand without a great team and a client with real vision and a genuine aspiration to build a quality project for Douglas and the Island.’

The team also included Ash Developments (Main Contractor), BB Consulting Engineers (Structural Engineer), Cameron Hall (Quantity Surveyor), Stuart Clague Services (M+E engineer), Erin Building Services (Clerk of Works), SMS (Planning Supervisor) and Capstone (Risk Analysis + Fire Strategy).

Client, Market Hill Properties Director, Bronwen Raatgever said “We are so delighted that the project has been recognised in this way. We always knew that the team could create something excellent and we love the building but to have the RIBA recognise this is really the icing on the cake”.

RIBA North West interim director Tom Mills said: “The North West region continues to play host to a remarkable array of delightful, carefully-crafted buildings. I congratulate all practices who have been shortlisted in this competitive process. The longlist for the 2019 North West Awards was of exceptional high calibre, with entries received from a range of national and international practices. It’s great to see so many North West-based practices in the running, representing the wealth of talent in our region.”

All shortlisted buildings will be assessed by a regional jury. The winners will be announced at an awards evening and reception at Manchester School of Art on Wednesday, May 8. Regional award winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will be announced in June.

horncastle:thomas is a RIBA Chartered Practice formed in February 2011 in Douglas by Karen Horncastle and Martyn Thomas. Both RIBA Chartered Architects: Karen has worked in the Isle of Man for over twenty years; Martyn worked for two leading architectural practices in North West England before returning home in August 2010.

Come and see our wearable art in action!

We are pleased to announce the eighth edition of the Manx Wearable Art Live Catwalk Show 2017. This is a biennial event on the Isle of Man. You will see the most exciting and innovative fusion of art, fashion and theatre come alive, modelled in a catwalk performance. At least 40 outfits will be paraded in front of an audience of approximately 150, a full capacity audience, at the Youth Arts Centre, in Kensington Road, Douglas.

“Whether you have a flair for fashion or a passion for the arts we would like to hear from you”, said event organiser Doreen Dixon, “We have seen some fantastic outfits made from all sorts of materials over the years and we are hoping that this year we can attract the best yet!”
Event organiser Sue Robinson says: “People invest a large amount of time, effort and talent into their designs and we are pleased that we can display them live on the catwalk at our Manx Wearable Art Show this year. We are also pleased to support the Youth Arts Centre which offers such great facilities for creative minds on the Island.”
Wearable Art was started in New Zealand in 1987 and the Manx version has been held every other year since 2005. Local businesses, charities, college students, independent groups and individuals have all contributed outfits in the past, using fibre, fabric, paper, wood, metal, rubber, plastic, flotsam and all kinds of recycled goods. It only needs to be strong enough to survive the catwalk and striking enough to enhance the show!

As an additional incentive selected items from the catwalk will be chosen to form part of a static display during this year’s IOM Art Festival from 4th – 6th May.

Fiona Helleur, Head of Youth Arts at the Youth arts Centre, commented
 “The secret of the success of the Youth Arts Centre is its diversity in all it does. YAC staff search for the different, unique and the interesting to keep its 500+ members happy during the 32 different sessions it offers weekly in performing and visual arts.”
Tickets for the live catwalk show will be on sale at £6.00 each from the Youth Arts Centre, telephone 07624 437339. If you would like more information please check out the event page on Facebook or contact Sue, Doreen or Myra on 842592/842433.

 The event is self-funded with all profits donated to the Youth Arts Centre

f:   Wearable Art on the Isle of Man
If you would like more information or to arrange interviews and/or photo opportunities, please contact either

Sue Robinson on 842592 or Doreen Dixon on 842433 or
Myra Gilbert E: