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Isle of Man Art News – 16 May 2016


After the excitement of the Isle of Man Art Festival over the May bank holiday weekend and all of the follow up and photographs, and then the launch of the Chris Killip exhibition at the Museum hot on it’s heels, the visual arts community seems to have taken a moment to breathe this last week ready for the next round of happenings. To think when I started doing the news updates I was worried there wouldn’t be enough to write about week to week! It’s not taken me very long at all to realise that we have a really active art community on the Isle of Man and that if you blink you’ve probably missed something……  


minilogoSecond year students on the Isle of Man College’s Art and Design Degree Courses are presenting an exhibition of eclectic work at the Douglas Market Hall. It’s not on for long though – Friday 20th to Monday 23rd May – as it precedes the final degree show by the third year students, so make sure you get down quick to see work from the eleven students on this course. 

Essentia is the third year students’ show and is the accumulation of three years of developing ideas and formulating creative roots, representing journeys through themes of identity, sense of place, loss, solitude, entrapment and surreal worlds. This exhibition represents the core work of the graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2016 and the final pieces solidify the creative worlds of each student, bringing forth the essence of each of them as artists.

Kirsti Penzes |  Rosie Wood  |  Bryan Moore  |  Helen Tate

Opening times:
27th May -14th June 2016
Monday – Saturday 08.00-17:00

Throughout the four weeks of the ESSENTIA: FLOURISH exhibition Kirsten will be running three Saturday afternoon events for families and children to take part and contribute to the exhibition. The events are:
Saturday 28th May 1-3pm: Creating Soundscapes
Saturday 4th June 1-3pm: Making Ceramic Pinch Pots
Saturday 11th June 1-3pm: Kite making
If you would like to take part in the events please email:


minilogoErica Kermode, whose page went live this week, has only one space left on her one day “Introduction to Clay Modelling Course” on 2 July. It runs from 10am to 4pm and costs £75. Find Erica’s Silver Willow Studio on our handy map.  She will also be running “Summer Ceramics” on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons 1pm to 4 pm from 28 June through to October.  These are open studio sessions for people who have some experience in ceramics and want to go along and be creative. The price is £20 per session.


minilogoJulia Smyth at the Hodgeson Loom Gallery has been putting next year’s schedule together for the gallery and still has some spots available so is interested in hearing from artists in any discipline. She will be happy to do group or solo shows and even if you have never exhibited before and are a little ‘trepidacious’ she says she will be happy to find you a safe little corner and make it not so scary. You can get in touch with Julia by email: (she’s really lovely and approachable so don’t be afraid to get in touch).



minilogoThe Isle of Man Arts Council posted up the summer schedule for the Youth Arts Centre on Kensington Road which includes Junior Art (ages 8-11) on Mondays 4.00 – 6.00 and Photography (ages 11+) on Tuesdays. It’s not very easy to read here but click the pic to see it in a lightbox.


minilogoYou’ve still got a chance to see Rob Jones’s “Drawn Steel” exhibition at The Sayle Gallery but this closes on 22 May so if you haven’t yet had a chance to see it, make haste! 


minilogoBruno Cavellec published a lovely Linkedin post, ‘Forgiveness’, in which he talks about what forgiveness is and its importance in freeing the forgiver from corrosive anger. His beautiful oil painting accompanies the piece. I’m looking forward to seeing more Linkedin posts like this from Bruno. 
minilogoThe Isle Gallery has their Spring Workshop coming up this week on 17th May (which I mentioned in last week’s news). The next one after that is their Journal Art Workshop on Sunday 22nd May 2016. It’s a one day workshop starting at 10.00am and finishing at 3.00pm. 

“Fast becoming a popular form of craft and a great way to start or get back to your creative journey, this workshop combines many techniques. Get back into creating again, great art therapy and a way to build your confidence.”
£42 including a beautiful 25x25cm bound sketchbook.


The Isle Gallery’s contemporary show – hosted by James Duggan, Juan Moore, Anna Clucas, Jelena Benson, Alexander Colby, Kate Jerry and Colette Gambell – is on until the end of this month and then for June, Brigid Stowell and Bryony Harrison have their joint show.

minilogoThere’s been lots happening in the background for the Directory over the past few weeks. I’m delighted to report that the Isle of Man Arts Council has approved some funding to help raise awareness of the website with the public. Huge thanks to them for their support. Look out for advertising over TT – I’m not going to tell you what it is yet but it’s going to be pretty big…..  This Friday, 20th May at 2.00pm, I will be on Manx Radio’s Women Today programme, with the first of my monthly Art round-ups. I’m also going to be able to spend more time on the Directory shortly and can now offer premium membership for Artists who will be able to have a shop page as well as their main listing. Get in touch for more information.


minilogoArtist and author Ruth Blindell is hosting an exhibition of her fantastic landscape paintings at the Erin Arts Centre. The exhibition was born out her book ‘Finlo and the Fairy Kings’ and is made up of work in a variety of formats including cards, images, both framed and unframed, and original paintings. The exhibition opened on 6th May and is on until 6th June.




minilogoAs well as Erica Kermode’s new page, Celine Appleyard, another ceramicist, has a page as well. Celine produces some really interesting pieces which look great lit up, so don’t forget to have a look at her page while you are here. As usual, here is my brief round-up of some of the pictures posted on social media this last week. Enjoy.


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.

Have a great week!


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Isle of Man Art News – 9 May 2016


There’s an expression I am sure, something along the lines of “You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy”. This weekend saw the launch of the Chris Killip exhibition at the Manx Museum and although Chris now works at Harvard University as professor of visual and environmental studies, I think this saying goes some way to expressing how his presentation came across to a packed house in the Museum’s lecture theatre on Saturday afternoon.

Chris talked with evident affection of his childhood days growing up in and around Peel, of the mischief he and his friends would get up to, of the love and support of his father and how the subjects of his work would question his genealogy in order to place him in the order of things before allowing him to take their photograph. 

On the odd occasion, Chris would forget the name of a person in a particular picture but the audience was able to come to his aid; these photographs are of people – many of whom are still alive – who people know or knew or indeed are related to. Chris’s unassuming delivery conveyed the sense of community, the friendships and rivalries, the hard work and drunken nights, what life was like when there was little money to go around and how people helped each other for no reward by giving of their time. He painted a vivid and emotive picture of life up to the early 70’s and brought back a multitude of memories for many. Chris’s love of the Isle of Man and the Manx people was both humorous and enthralling – the talk ran over by 25 minutes but no one noticed and no one cared and I for one didn’t want it to end.

The exhibition is on until 30 July 2016 at the Museum and you can buy copies of Chris’s book from the museum shop (when they are back in stock, as it completely sold out yesterday). 



minilogoBruno Cavellec has produced this great picture for the launch of Mae Challis’s cover of ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley. Here is the YouTube link for you in case you haven’t seen it yet. The video is by Dave Armstrong (DAM Productions Isle of Man). Bruno is a great music fan and the perfect person for album cover art, gig posters and the like. Remember his ‘Hot Club of Cowtown’ picture recently on FB? No? OK, here you go (any excuse to post this one up as I absolutely love it!).




minilogoThe wildlife Park is looking for someone who can make something like in this photo, wood, metal or other material (but must be weather proof) for their new Gibbon interpretation. Please call Kathleen at the Park on 693572 if you can help or know the person who can.




minilogoPetrina Kent published a new blog post last week: 

‘Even though life has incessantly thrown tempestuous waters at me, I still know that You are there. Your light shines upon the water.’  After a winter of storms and standing at ‘the end of things’ I chose to paint. This is the result. 




minilogoThe Arts Council has a new logo which I think looks much more contemporary than the old one. They also posted up about the Creative Designer of the Year 2016 competition which is aimed at young people aged 4 to 16 years old and offers the chance for students to win up to £450 for their school. Entrants are asked to present their designs landscape on a plain piece of A4 paper with their full name, school, year group and teacher’s name on the reverse side. Entries are to be submitted to Isle of Man Newspapers no later than 14th June 2016. 

Another Arts Council post which I am sure will be of interest to Artists is that Manx National Heritage is offering space for individuals and community groups to create their own exhibitions within their sites. The stipulation is that proposed exhibitions should demonstrate either strong links with MNH’s collections or celebrate Manx community, heritage or culture. Proposals are welcomed from artists, curators and all members of the public. 






minilogoThere are a couple of Adult Workshops coming up at The Isle Gallery this month; the first is “Waterfalls” which is on tomorrow, Tuesday 10th May 10.00am to 1.30pm. You will get the chance to create your own stunning Waterfall painting on canvas. No experience is necessary as you will be guided through the process. You can relax and unwind in the beautiful, light and airy gallery space and indulge your creative self. All materials are included and refreshments will be provided. The price is £49 including materials. 

The next workshop after that is “Springtime, Acrylic on Canvas” on Tuesday 17th May, 10.30am to 1.00pm. Here you can celebrate the changing seasons with their Springtime Acrylic Workshop by creating your own vibrant painting on canvas. This workshop is suitable for all levels and abilities as again, you will be guided through the process. Learn to ‘let go’ of inhibition and explore colour on canvas. All materials are included and refreshments will be provided. This price for this workshop is also £49 including materials.



minilogoJulie Collins’s water colour workshop at Brightlife was a great success. The delegates learnt about drawing, colour mixing and various watercolour techniques during the weekend. The talk about Julie’s art was also well attended on the Friday evening. If you fancy extending your watercolour skills, Julie will be running a watercolour and ink workshop at Brightlife in November. In the meantime she says she has lots of painting to get on with for various exhibitions and commissions.

Julie kindly sent me this picture for the news update:-  “Towards the Calf of Man” – watercolour on paper.

Towards the Calf of Man



minilogoThere is a lovely new page on the Directory, photographer Clint Hudson, and a couple more nearly ready to release. Here is a a round-up of some of the pictures posted on social media this last week. Enjoy.


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.

Have a great week!


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Isle of Man Art News – 2 May 2016


What A Fantastic Weekend! The Isle of Man Art Festival opened on Saturday morning with venues around the Island and sunny skies which I am quite sure helped to tempt people out and about. Fuelled primarily by cake and tea, my friend Sarah and I visited the Laxey, Douglas and Southern venues on Saturday ending up at Studio 42 shortly before 5pm and on Sunday my daughter, Ellen, came with me to visit Celine Appleyard in Union Mills, the Isle Gallery and the Peel venues with the last stop at Katy Mitchell’s before heading home to Ramsey (excellent route planning on my part if I may say so myself).

I guess the Creative Network will need to take stock of how the event has gone overall but personally I think it has been extremely successful, with some great artwork on display, plenty of people at the various locations and super hospitality at all of the venues. A huge amount of work has gone into the event so congratulations to all of the organisers and participants in making it happen and run so smoothly.

I’ve really enjoyed the last two days so if you’re reading this today, Monday 2nd May, you still have a chance to get out to the open studios; a rare treat to see where some of our Artists craft their wares. I’ve put together quite a substantial gallery for you – which is just a very small selection – of what you can see. (Click on the pictures to view in the lightbox).


To see loads more great photos follow this link to the Creative Network’s Facebook Page with photos by Deb Turk.


minilogoChris Killip’s
exhibition at the Manx Museum opens on Saturday 7th May with a private viewing on Friday evening. On Saturday, there is ‘An Afternoon with Chris Killip’ when he will be providing an insight into his career and signing purchased copies of his book. Tickets and copies of his book ‘Isle of Man Revisited’ are available from the Manx Museum Shop. Lecture tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for students and are available now from the Manx Museum.

For those of you not yet familiar with his work, Chris Killip is a distinguished Manx photographer who works at Harvard University as professor of visual and environmental studies. He is well known for his gritty black and white images of people and places and renowned and recognised for his pictures of local communities – in particular the local Manx population. 

Chris is the recipient of numerous international awards, has exhibited all over the world, written extensively and been interviewed on both radio and television. His work has featured in the Tate Gallery and received extensive media coverage, most recently featuring in the Financial Times Magazine and Daily Mail

Manx National Heritage holds 252 of Chris Killip’s images in the Manx National Collections. The exhibition will feature 52 printed images, including well-known portraits of people and landscapes, as well as a number of unseen and unpublished works. Additional images will be featured on a rolling loop. 

The exhibition opens to the public at the Manx Museum on 7th May 2016 and is on until 30th July 2016.  


Chris Killip


minilogoThe organisers of this year’s Deep South Festival are looking for an Artist to display/sell some of their work at this year’s event. It is being held Saturday 2nd July and Sunday 3rd July 2016





minilogoAlice Quayle
got a nice little write up on for her branding work on the Yn Chruinnaght festival. (Ha, try them with that one at a spelling competition!). The illustration captures not just the festival details but also captures the seaside experience of Peel. Yet another great little infographic from her:



minilogoI managed to get along to the Rob Jones exhibition, Drawn Steel, at The Sayle Gallery earlier this week and then again on Saturday. WOW. I love it. I highly recommend you go along and indulge yourself in this show.  I told Rob what my mum had said about it when I saw him on Saturday at Grenaby Studios – that she’d have to take a Brillo pad to it – and he said he’d know where to go if he fancied a different finish (look out mum, you  might have inadvertently got yourself a job!). Seriously though, it really is worth a visit, or two… or three….

Rob Jones - Drawn Steel - Photo by Rob Smith
Rob Jones – Drawn Steel – Photo by Rob Smith


minilogoThe Annual John Nicholson Bursary Award of £500 is open for applications for the period 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017 to assist one or more individuals in their endeavours in visual arts. More information on how to apply can be found on the Isle of Man Arts Council website and anyone wishing to apply should contact the Secretary, R G Barrs – email 


Finally, here are a few more images from the Art Festival and Social Media over the past week. Enjoy.


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.

Have a great week!