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Isle of Man Art News 22 August 2016


What a week! I thought I was going to be busy enough with being back at work after two weeks off with catching up to do as there always is and then I opened my personal email to find an invitation to interview Roger Dean! I could hardly believe it and actually typed out a reply saying ‘thank you very much but I’d have no idea where to start….’ and then realised that I would be mad to pass up such an amazing opportunity. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone though. I’m no journalist and have never interviewed anyone in my life so imagine my panic. In the end I went for the ‘phone a friend’ option, did some research and met Roger on Friday lunchtime just before the preview opened that evening. I need not have feared as he really is the most lovely gentleman and I will be writing up my notes (provided I can decipher them) and posting it as a separate blog in the not too distant future.

While I was at the exhibition preview on Friday evening I had a chat to Ron Berry who showed me the new special edition 3FM logo which Roger Dean has designed for the station and signed up at their new premises in Skanco Court. The Isle of Man Post Office has also officially launched a set of six stamps depicting Roger’s work and 5 of the 6 original works are on display including the specially commissioned work ‘Meeting Place’. Roger told me that he loves the Island and it sounds like he will be a fairly regular visitor in the coming months so you never know, we might be seeing more original Isle of Man inspired Roger Dean work if we’re lucky.

roger-dean-3FM logo
Roger Dean at 3FM signing the Logo he has designed for the station.

The exhibition itself ‘Islands and Bridges’ is a ‘must see’. This is only his seventh exhibition and a very rare opportunity to see the most fabulous display of artwork. What is immediately striking is how vivid the colours are and how the paintings seem to give off incredible energy. I’m not going to write too much here as I don’t want to repeat myself when I draft my article, but I can safely say it is well worth the visit. Entry is free and the exhibition is on until 19 November.

minilogoI did a lot of rushing around on Friday as I was double booked with the Ashgrove Marketing Competition results and prize giving being on at the same time as the exhibition preview. Unfortunately the Directory didn’t win either its category or the ‘People’s Choice’ award sponsored by Ramsey Crookall, but having read all of the most lovely comments on the Directory entry on the Ashgrove Marketing FB page I feel like a winner anyway. Thank you to everyone who left a comment and voted; there will be other opportunities to help raise the profile of the visual arts on the Island I am sure and congratulations to all of the winners who did a really great job.

minilogoWhen Graham Hall isn’t busy tagging basking sharks (which is fascinating by the way) he’s a bit of a dab-hand at wood turning. Working out of Grenaby Studios he has some serious machinery and, I only realised the other day, can offer workshops and one-to-one tutorials. Below are the pictures of the results of one of his workshops which I’ve kindly been given permission to put in the news so that you can see what you might be able to achieve. If you’re interested in having a go you can contact Graham for more details via his page on the Directory.

minilogoAlso working out of Grenaby Studios is Simon Capelen. He’s been making the most wonderful table with Graham out of a fallen elm tree. I’ve been watching progress on the Grenaby Studio’s FB page and the craftsmanship is clear to see. Grenaby is a little hub of loveliness near Ballabeg with Element.isle and Juliet Petrarulo also being based there. I know Claire from Element.isle is closed presently and spending some time with her family over the school holidays but I expect that it will be buzzing again down there in a few weeks.

minilogoSvetlana Cameron’s picture, ‘George’ conte on paper, 45 x 35 cm, will be part of the Society of Graphic Fine Art annual open exhibition 3-15 October in the Menier Gallery.

minilogoAnd finally, as I have to stop somewhere and can’t possibly include everything that I wan’t to or else I’d be here until next Sunday writing this, don’t forget to check in with what MakeMarket at the Douglas Market Hall and the Isle of Architecture are up to.


minilogoDates for your  Diary:

On now through to 19 November – Manx Museum – ‘Islands and Bridges’ The Art of Roger Dean

On now – Hodgson Loom Gallery – Summer Symphony of Silk

On now – The Isle Gallery – Juan Moore’s ‘Odd Days’

On now – Studio 42 – Summer Show (Win Norton and Catherine James)

On now – The Sayle Gallery – Art in the Park Display / Rob Smith / Celine Appleyard / David Metaxas

23rd August – Children’s Workshop at the Isle Gallery – Treasure Island

24th August – Children’s Workshop at the Isle Gallery – Nature Prints

27th August – Silver Willow Studio – Clay sculpture workshop

6th September – Oil Painting – Seascapes at the Isle Gallery

8th September – The Isle Gallery – start of a 6-8 week course of printmaking for adults

7th October –  Paul Parker at the Braaid Hall – Watercolour Painting (5 days on light and tone over 5 weeks)

minilogoIf you enjoy these news updates, please Share them with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists.

Have a great week!


Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter @manxart. You can also ‘Subscribe’ using the button top right of the screen.

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Isle of Man Art News – 1 August 2016


Nicola Dixon this week paid tribute to David Gilbert, sculptor and former resident of the Island who passed away earlier in July aged 87. Although I never had the privilege to meet him, Nicola’s wonderful memories which she shared via Facebook the day before his funeral were very moving and evocative of magical childhood days. I can’t possibly attempt to do either Nicola’s memories or David’s work justice here so I would simply say, read Nicola’s post (you may need to scroll to July 28th) and visit David’s website. A great loss to the Art community but what a wonderful legacy he has left us. RIP.

minilogoI’ve been to the Isle Gallery this afternoon (Sunday) for the opening of Juan Moore’s new show, ‘Odd Days’. What a great afternoon! I highly recommend that you try to go to openings of shows as not only is it a great opportunity to get hold of the piece of work you want before it gets sold, it’s also a great chance to meet a whole host of artists as the Art community is a massively supportive network and many of them go along see what their contemporaries have been up to, catch up with old friends and often buy each other’s work.

If you weren’t there today you missed the chance to meet Juan Moore, host for the day, Nicola Dixon, Sally Black, Bruno Cavellec, Graham Hall, Stephanie Quayle, Darren Jackson, Kirsti Penzes, Petrina Kent and Howard Shimmin and that’s to mention but a few. It’s a really great chance to catch up with people, bounce around ideas and hear artists’ opinions. After a couple of very enjoyable hours I looked around the gallery to see many red dots! (Red dots, in case you don’t know, denote that the piece is sold). So well done Juan! A brilliant show and I sincerely hope that it isn’t going to be your last ‘for a very long time, or possibly ever‘ as you suggested on the radio on Friday.

If you saw Juan’s paintings without seeing the title you could be forgiven for being confused or even disturbed by his art, however, see it with its title and it makes perfect sense. I thought Juan’s metaphor for teaching was particularly apt (a drowning man with little chickens on his head which I have used as the featured image for this post). I’ll bet lots of teachers will be able to relate to that one.

There were a few unsold when I left so you still have an opportunity to make a start on your Juan Moore collection. My guess though is that it will be a sell-out show.


minilogoSome people may wonder why I’m including information and helping to promote the Isle of Architecture, which is a year long celebration of the built environment on the Isle of Man. There are a couple of reasons, the first being that I’ve always been a fan of architecture. One of my most favourite things to do is look at buildings, particularly when travelling, but also here on the Island. I sometimes ask Martin (my husband) to take me out for a drive with no particular purpose other than to enjoy the vista and all the different architecture we have around us. The second reason is that architecture is not just construction – it’s also Art. Architects are tasked with coming up with buildings and other constructions which not only work but are aesthetically pleasing, which is really, really important when you consider that the majority of them will outlive us and possibly also our children. What we build now is our legacy to future generations. 

The Isle of Architecture is inviting anyone to make a short video (like the one below) about your favourite building. Simply visit your chosen building and record a short video (less than 1 minute is best) saying why you love it. You can do this yourself using a camera, phone or tablet or maybe get a friend to help. Share it with the Isle of Architecture’s Facebook page and they’ll add it to the Isle of Architecture website.

If it was still around, I would have chosen the Palace Lido. It still breaks my heart that it was demolished. We’ve lost so many important buildings. I sincerely hope that the Castle Mona is not the next one on the list.



minilogoI haven’t mentioned Petrina Kent much of late, although I have posted up some of her lovely photographs of Port Erin and the roses in her garden. Petrina has been busy painting a series entitled ‘Gem of God’s Earth’. If you think you can’t afford quality original artwork, then think again. These gorgeous little paintings – there will be 40 of them in total – are oil on silk and mahogany with gold leaf, are 9cm x 9cm and are boxed so they are absolutely perfect to give as a gift or a great way to start a collection. You can buy them directly from the shop page for just £55. Here are a few pictures so you can see how lovely they are.

Click on the pictures to view in the Lightbox.

There are 12 ready at present with the others still ‘work in progress’ but don’t hang around to buy as I expect these will get snapped up pretty handily. I’ll keep in touch with Petrina too and let you know when the next ones are available.


minilogoThe Isle of Man Arts Council has appointed its first patrons.

Recently retired President of Tynwald Clare Christian OBE and renowned artist Michael Sandle, a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts, have accepted invitations to be patrons of the body. 

During Island of Culture 2014, Mrs Christian was instrumental in the installation of Michael Sandle’s maquette of Godred Croven for display in the Legislative Buildings and led on work involving the Archibald Knox Society. She said: ‘I am honoured to accept the invitation to be an Arts Council patron. I recognise the breadth and depth of the arts offering in the Island and I am delighted to lend support to all the people and organisations who embrace and nurture the arts in all their aspects in our community.’

Michael Sandle grew up in the Island and attended the Douglas School of Art and Technology before becoming one of the world’s most acclaimed sculptors and painters. He is one of only two artists from the Isle of Man to hold Royal Academician status. Just 80 artists at a time have the title. His Viking sculpture at the Erin Arts Centre and Memorial to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in the sunken gardens in Douglas were Arts Council commissions. 

‘I am passionate about the Manx arts and cultural scene and am thrilled to accept this invitation to be a patron of the Arts Council,’ Mr Sandle said. ‘Public investment in the arts remains vital if opportunities are to exist for all and the role of the Arts Council is key to that. Supporting that role is something I look forward to.’


minilogoIn September 2016, the Sayle Gallery is planning to hold a month long exhibition between 8 September – 7 October, celebrating the life and work of the late and much missed artist Simon Buttimore. The gallery is on a hunt for his artworks spanning his 40 year career, including paintings, drawings, wood carvings, music, films, his caravans and carts or any of his installations or writings. Photographers are willing to travel to any location on the island to record any of Simon’s work in situ, for example Simon carved dragons in beams in cottages; he made house signs, statues and intricate porches and bedsteads with weeping monks, fonts from tree stumps and so much more. Everything loaned will be treated with the greatest of respect, the owner will get full accreditation and the item will be safely returned once the exhibition is over. Please call Carola Rush at the Sayle on 674557 if you can help.


minilogoThere are lots of ‘Arty’ events coming up in the next couple of weeks. Don’t forget about ‘Art in the Park’ being organised by the Sayle Gallery which is on 5, 6 and 7 August in the Villa Marina Gardens (admission is free) and MakeMarket which is a series of Creative Network events at Douglas Market Hall over the summer months. Check out the calendar as this will be updated regularly with details of what’s on. Katy Mitchell and Faye Christian will be ‘potters in residence’ next week – you’ll be able to see them at work and Faye will be doing some workshops.


minilogoDates for your  Diary:


On now – Saturday 6th August – Mannin Art Group’s 67th Annual Exhibition – St. Paul’s Hall, Ramsey

Wednesday 3rd – Sunday 7th August – Katy Mitchell – Potter-in-Residence at the Market Hall

Thursday 4th August, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Summer Show preview at Studio 42, Port St. Mary

Weekend of 5th, 6th, 7th August, 10am-4pm, Art in the Park, Villa Marina Gardens

Tuesday 9th August – Children’s Workshop at the Isle Gallery – The Jungle Book


minilogoHere are a few images I’ve saved from social media over the past week. Click on the pictures to open in the Lightbox. Enjoy.


minilogoIf you enjoy these news updates, please Share them with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists. 

Have a great week!


Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter @manxart. You can also ‘Subscribe’ using the button top right of the screen.




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Isle of Man Art News – 18 July 2016


I think I’m in love with Peel. It might be something to do with the fact that it was a glorious day yesterday, there were people milling around all over the place and there was a really good vibe in the air. The sun shone, Peel was a feast for the eyes with all of its higgledy-piggledy buildings and gorgeous flora and there was Pimms and friends. What could be better?

minilogoDespite mentioning last week that it was to be my first Yn Chruinniaght I still, somehow, mysteriously, managed to miss 95% of it by getting completely distracted first by the sale in Tynwald Mills (understandable, I’m sure you’ll agree) and then by the Peel Secret Gardens which was also on over the weekend. I last visited some of the Secret Gardens a few years ago but this year we had a local ‘tour guide’ Linda McCauley – now native to Peel – who led us on foot through lanes and cut through’s you’d never normally see driving around and in doing so had time to appreciate some of the wonderful architecture, both old and new, as well as abundant and well tended gardens that put mine to shame.

I readily admit that I am no gardener – in fact my gardening skills are about on a par with my artistic skills – but my sister (who I was with yesterday – on the left of the photo above, Linda in the middle and me on the right) is a very good gardener indeed and has the most beautiful garden at her home in Douglas. In fact, thinking about it, she’s a pretty good artist too so perhaps art and gardening are mutually compatible and you either are, or you aren’t, good at both? My sister is good at both – I am good at neither. I wonder if in fact there really is a pattern to this? Do leave a comment below if you have any wisdom to add to my wild assumptions 🙂

Being surrounded by such a visually inspirational city it should really be no surprise that Peel is home to a number of our best Artists – Nicola Dixon, Bruno Cavellec, Kate Jerry, Myra Gilbert, Eric Glithero and Sally Black to name but a few. Do keep your eyes peeled for Eric Glithero’s photographs of Peel by the way as they are just wonderful. There were a number of them exhibited over the May Bank Holiday weekend at the Hodgson Loom Gallery and in Peel and I am hoping that Eric will soon have a page on the Directory.

Whilst I admit I didn’t resist being led around beautiful gardens, I did ensure that our tour included the Artisan Market at the Corrin Hall which was extremely busy when we were there. The Artists gathered were top of the tree and I took the opportunity to stock up on some of Nicola Dixon’s beautifully crafted cards, another wee pot to add to my first wee pot from Katy Mitchell and a much longed for purchase from Graham Hall’s beautiful collection of wooden vessels. While I was struggling to decide exactly which gorgeous bowl to have Graham asked me what I planned to do with it. I have to wonder – do you actually need to do something with such things? It’s so pretty I was planning on just looking at it!


minilogoHeading back to the Architecture theme, I spotted this video link on Facebook last week: “The built environment belongs to everybody” – watch the Isle of Architecture launch video and see why we should all get more engaged with the structures that surround us. Let’s celebrate our historic buildings and think about what’s important for the future of architecture on the Isle of Man.

You can check out what’s on and take a peek around their website here:



minilogoSo what else is coming up? Juan Moore’s exhibition, “Odd Days” opens on 31st July at The Isle Gallery. He looks to be very well organised indeed and Juan will be on Manx Radio’s ‘Women Today’ programme with me on Friday 29th July at 2.00pm, just before the show opens on the Sunday, so do tune in to hear about what we can expect to see and what’s behind Juan’s inspiration for this exhibition – his first solo exhibition in 5 years.




minilogoJo Pretty, Principal and Chief Executive of Lowestoft College, has been appointed to a new role as Principal for the newly positioned University College Isle of Man.

Officially appointed in March of this year she will be the first female Principal in the college’s long history and said one of the reasons she was selected for this high profile role was her experience across the spectrum of education, her commercial outlook and experience, and her proven record in managing change. During her time at Lowestoft College she has effectively restructured the college in line with industry and community needs, increased student and staff satisfaction, and has been a lead figure in the East Coast Colleges merger. 

Jo said: “This is a very exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to heading the University College Isle of Man as the college plans to grow its higher education and seek to better meet the needs of a growing and diversifying community on the Island.”

This is also a life style change for her and her husband, an artist, who is looking forward to painting the landscapes and life on the Island.



minilogoThe Hodgson Loom Gallery has a new exhibition opening on 23rd July, “Summer Symphony of Silk” which I am very excited to see as my mum had a go at silk painting a few years ago and produced some lovely pieces. I don’t have any silk painters on the Directory yet, so if you are reading this, please come out from where you are hiding and get in touch! 



minilogoAlso coming up is Art in the Park: 

Art in the Park – An opportunity to come and watch artists producing their work, to get creative yourself and to exhibit in the gallery. The Sayle Gallery is staging an arts weekend where anyone of any age can come along and view some of the Island’s artists demonstrating a range of art forms and where everyone can get involved and get creative themselves.

The event will take place across the Friday and weekend of the 5th, 6th and 7th of August. The Villa Marina has kindly allowed us to spread into the Villa Gardens where the art activity will be happening between 10am and 4pm each day. The event is free to all so do please come along and join us.

Inside the gallery there will be an exhibition of work by all the artists taking part as well as six practical art workshops for families which are bookable in advance. The artists taking part are; Celine Appleyard, David Metaxas, Gavin Carter, Rob Smith and Jill Gillings.

There will be live music performed on the stage within the gardens across the weekend, in association with the Tinkerman Festival and Soundcheck. David Metaxas and Celine Appleyard will be demonstrating their ceramic artwork and will be offering the opportunity for visitors to sink their fingers into some wet clay to build their own pinch pots or ceramic sculptures.

Rob Smith will be offering the chance to join in with the production of large experimental paintings in the middle of the lawn – a great space to be able to throw paint around without fear of damaging walls or furniture. So if you have always wanted to do a large painting but have not had the materials or space to do it, come and see Rob. He will also help with the production of smaller works which will adorn one of the park’s trees.

Jill Gillings will be demonstrating her stained glass techniques as she works on a glass and wood sculpture. She will also be involving visitors in the production of paper butterflies which will be displayed on netting on one of the trees. Another activity for all will be the painting on to pebbles or stones. These painted rocks will be used after the event to create a decorative border for one of the flower beds in the park, so do come and contribute to this long term creative addition to the Villa Gardens.

Gavin Carter will be teaching people some of his wood carving techniques and engaging visitors in joining in with the production of a large wood sculpture which will hopefully find a home in the Gardens after the event.

In the gallery itself, participants who wish to book in to one of the workshops, will experience mould making and working with plaster. They will be able to get creative with surface decoration of plant pots and to contribute to a large group sculpture project, where one huge sculpture will be built and displayed within the gallery. This sculpture will form the centrepiece for a two week exhibition where any work produced over the weekend may be left with us to be displayed. We would love to be able to show as much work as possible to celebrate the creativity of all participants (we do not expect masterpieces!). All work can be collected after the exhibition to take home.

We are praying for good weather and lots of visitors to come and enjoy a weekend of creativity. Do come along and join in the fun!

To book one of the gallery workshops or to find out more details please contact the Sayle Gallery, Villa Marina Colonnade, 1 – 3 Harris Promenade, Douglas, IM1 2HN. Email: Tel: 674557


minilogoIf you enjoy these news updates, please Share them with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists. 

Have a great week!


Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter @manxart. You can also ‘Subscribe’ using the button top right of the screen.