Isle of Man Art News 18 March 2019

It’s been 3 weeks since my last post (apologies) but this week I finally have exciting news to impart.

Two new shows are set to open at the weekend, one at The Hodgson Loom Gallery and one at Isle Contemporary. The show at The Hodgson Loom opens first on Saturday, ‘Africa’, with work by artists Pat Kelly and Janice Cottier. Not only do we have the promise of a ‘riot of pattern and colour’ but we should also see the unveiling of the redesigned space in the Woollen Mills. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it.

The new show at Isle Contemporary (formerly the Isle Gallery) also promises to be a ‘must see’ show with work by Grenaby based artist, Graham Rider, which opens on Sunday at 2pm. Since Graham relocated to the island a couple of years ago he has been inspired by our coastlines, his stunning beach pictures evocative of sunny summer days and memories of childhood picnics.

Bruno Cavellec has been pursuing his passion for producing book and album covers with the publication of Graham Hamer’s new book, Jasmine’s Journey (The French Collection).

Here’s the ‘blurb’ as Graham calls it!

“When eight-year-old Jasmine Guichard gets lost in the catacombs of Paris, she triggers a sequence of events that she could never have imagined. And many that she will never know about.While she is trapped in the darkness, a contract killer arrives in the city to wreak revenge on a paedophile who made a mockery of the justice system. D.S. Robbie Allen and D.C. Benedict Blewett are dispatched from Liverpool to find the killer before he strikes again. But when D.C. Blewett spots their mark, his senior officer refuses to believe him.Meanwhile, Harry and Tristan are determined to find Jasmine and are helped in their efforts by a young nun who is not at all what she seems. There’s more going on behind the closed doors of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Isabelle of France than meets the eye – a lot more.When D.C. Blewett hands the proof of a European counterfeit gang to the French police, he is elevated to celebrity status. When he then alerts the world’s media to events at the Daughters of Charity of Saint Isabelle of France, even his disparaging senior officer starts to take note.”

The last Manx Wearable Arts show at the Youth Arts Centre was fabulous fun. It’s only every two years so make sure you go along on 29th March as it’s not to be missed!

Talking art and fashion, UCM art student Cara Bregazzi was scouted by a London Modelling Agency last November whilst on an educational student trip and these images have recently been published in prestigious magazine ‘Heroine’, spring summer edition. Cara will also be featured in the magazine ‘Hero’ in the coming months with photo’s taken by ex UCM Art student Daniyel ‘Ducky’ Lowden, now a professional London based fashion photographer.
Cara is taking a gap year on completion of her extended diploma in June to explore a professional modelling career before university. She has several other model castings in her diary already, and is a talented fashion stylist and photographer herself. Well done Cara!

Gary Myers and Juan Moore are both busy working for Clever Unicorn Games at the moment. Gary is making spaceships for their upcoming board game ‘Fractured Galaxy’. The models will be 3d printed as board game counters. Juan has posted up a ‘Gelatinous Bunny’…… hmmm!

It’s great to see local artists getting wider recognition for their work, so congratulations to Vici Blackburn whose gorgoeus papier mache bowls featured in a recent edition of World of Interiors. If you fancy one for yourself there is a rather lovely collection at Grenaby. It’s mother’s day soon too so a very good reason to be paying them a visit this week!

Here’s this week’s gallery.

I’ve changed the opening time of the preview at The Engine House on 2nd May from 7pm to 6.30pm so that people who might prefer to come straight from work can pop in before heading home or off for something to eat. If you’d like an email invite to the future previews at The Engine House please send me an email to with ‘Invite Me’ in the subject line and I will add you to our guest list.

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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Isle of Man Art Festival 2019

The Creative Network is pleased to announce that the Isle of Man Art Festival is set to take place over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 4th May, Sunday 5th May and Monday 6th May 2019. The annual three-day celebration of visual art is approaching its eighth year and will continue to provide an inspiring opportunity to discover the artists working on the Isle of Man.

Formerly known as the Western Open Studio Art Trail (WOSAT), the Art Festival will encompass open access to artist studios, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations right across the Island. 

This year we shall be holding our informal festival launch and major exhibition preview event at our latest new exhibition venue, The Laxey Glen, on Thursday 25th April at 6pm, ahead of the festival weekend. All press representatives are warmly invited to attend and meet the artists. 

The 2018 festival attracted 2500 visitors, we expect this to increase this year. Last year’s feedback from both visitors and participating artists was unanimously positive. 

Over 50 of the island’s artists are participating, covering a wide range of disciplines, they include painters, illustrators, poets, sculptors, potters, jewellers, embroiderers, textile artists, print-makers and photographers. 

Festival venues so far include:
>The Laxey Glen, the Hodgson Loom Gallery and Mother T’s in Laxey 
>The Old Police Station, The Engine House and Craftworks in Castletown, and nearby, Grenaby Studios
>The House of Manannan, the Pilates Studio, and the Centenary Centre in Peel
>Isle Contemporary, St Johns
>Glen Mooar Cottage Retreat at Sulby Glen 
>The Courthouse in Ramsey 
>Ballajora Studio in Maughold and further individual studios in Port Erin, Kirk Michael and Ballaugh.

The Festival is organised by The Creative Network, an artists’ cooperative with over 60 members who share the aim of promoting art and artists on the island and beyond. Valuable support is provided by the Isle of Man Arts Council, Manx National Heritage, local town Commissioners and partner galleries.

Entrance to studios, demonstrations and exhibition venues over all three days will be completely free, as will our printed Festival Guides and Creative Network Artists Directories. These will be available three weeks before the Festival at The Laxey Glen, Noa Bakehouse in Douglas, the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, the House of Manannan in Peel and all major art galleries, as well as all venues during the event.
All venues will normally be open 11am – 5pm over the three day weekend, but please check online in case of last minute amendments. You will also see that there are plans afoot for various exhibitions preview events by festival partners before opening to the public.

Please visit or follow f:Creative Network IoM on Facebook for festival updates.
Festival images from previous years are available at

For more information please contact Myra Gilbert on 372441 or

Isle of Man Art News – 25 February 2019

Hello Art Lovers! It’s a bit quiet a present and there’s not much to report in the way of current shows – although Helen Hughes’s gorgeous abstracts are still being exhibited at Isle Contemporary at Tynwald Mills. We sadly no longer have the Sayle Gallery of course but on the bright side the Hodgson Loom gallery is currently having some building work done which, by the sound of it, will imporve the layout for both John’s loom and provide additional space for artists’ work to be displayed and sold (hurrah!).

Julia told me “The big metal loom will still be there (Tis the only known example of its kind left in the world). But should look better. The staircase end will become a small showcase gallery shop for different artists and different mediums, and the main exhibition area remains as is, possibly a bit more colour added!”. I look forward to seeing it in the near future.

In the meantime I’ve been busy getting organised for the Creative Network’s annual Art Festival coming up over the May Bank Holiday weekend and I’m really excited to have some fabulous artists lined up to show their work at The Engine House. Juan Moore, Anna Clucas, Petrina Kent, Rebecca Odessa and Daniel Price will all be exhibiting. It will be a selection of some older pieces as well as plenty of new work. The exhibition will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm daily over the Bank Holiday weekend and thereafter from 11am – 2pm Monday to Friday and 11.00am to 3pm Saturdays and Sundays. There will be a preview of the show on 2nd May from 7pm – 9pm, all welcome, and the exhibition will run until the end of May.

Rebecca Odessa will be displaying her work at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey and also a small selection along with Michael Starkey at The Courthouse in Ramsey. The pieces below are a small selection of her gorgeous new paintings – I will have some of her recent collage work at The Engine House.

Steve Babb posted up these rather stunning photographs of the Laxey Wheel. I particularly like seeing our heritage portayed in different ways and these definitely tick that box – for me at any rate.

Staying with rather awesome photography, Mike Radcliffe has been adding to his spectacular series of wave shots. When I was chatting to him a couple of months ago he told me that he’s found his ideal location and he knows when the tides and weather conditions are just about perfect but as yet he hasn’t captured what he deems to be ‘the perfect shot’. If these are anything to go by then I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Mike considers to be ‘the perfect shot’.

UCM this week posted up congratulations to former student Bethany Williams, who was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Second Award for Design at London Fashion Week. Bethany’s clothing line is designed around sustainable fashion. You can read more about Bethany here. Huge congratulations to her – what an amazing achievement.

Staying with awesome designers, the Manx duo behind the fasion label Preen by Thornton Bregazzi released their Autumn/Winter collection at London Fasion Week. Check it out here.

Juan Moore has been up to his ears in design work recently. He’s produced this new logo for Clever Unicorn Games and is about to start work on a significant local commission. He’s also sold the original of the Dungeons and Dragons cover I mentioned a couple of weeks ago to an overseas collector which is great news. Nice one Juan.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Juan’s two nieces the other day, Sally Ann and Sophie. Sally Ann is a keen photographer and has an Instagram page called Sally_Snaps. I think her photos are really good, expecially considering she’s just shy of 12 years old. Her sister Sophie sometimes acts as her model and is a keen dancer and I can safely say they both like hot chocolate. Give her page a follow, I’m sure she will appreciate it.

I was surprised and delighted to get a message from Anna Clucas on Saturday afternoon saying to expect a wallaby. Not the message you generally expect to get everyday I guess but now that the artist selections have been made for the Wallabies Gone Wild project the artists have around 8 weeks to get them painted. The wallaby is now happily in residence sharing Anna and Juan’s studio at The Engine House – you might have seen Mike Wade’s recent article in the Examiner about their shared studio space.

I thought this photograph by Simon Park was stunning (I absolutely love the colours) so although I don’t have a lot to say about it, I just wanted to give it a spot in the news as I think it deserves it. I guess it falls into the same category I mentioned above of ‘stunning ways to show off our fabulous heritage’.

Check this out – Michael Starkey has produced these gorgeous little miniature paintings for an exhibition in a dolls house, made by a friend of his! How great is that?

Dawn Kennaugh has been producing some gorgeous bird paintings on the pages of an old book about birds she got from a charity shop. Aren’t they gorgeous? Evidently lots of other people think so too as they all seem to be marked ‘sold’ when I see them on social media!

And finally, here’s this week’s round up of images.

That’s it for the next couple of weeks. Do remember you can subscribe to the news to get it delivered to your inbox. Just fill in the form in the sidebar.

Jane x

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