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Isle of Man Art News – 25 September 2017

If there’s one thing I love to do at weekends (besides having a very indulgent lie-in), it’s going to exhibition previews. Some are better attended than others and Eileen Schaer’s private view yesterday at the House of Manannan was one of the best I’ve been to this year. There was a great turn out with lots of familiar faces from all facets of the creative industries spectrum. Previews are always a great opportunity for me to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while – I had a chat with Eben Carswell from Studio 42 in Port St. Mary who was in fine form and looking forward to announcing his next show at the gallery; John Caley took my mug shot; I shared my latest radio bloopers with Sarah Hendy; got the low down on the Affordable Art Fair in Bristol from Kate Jerry; said a quick hello to Sally Black and Claire McMahon and had a Creative Network update from Myra Gilbert just to mention a few of the people there.

Of course I also had the chance to congratulate Eileen on a wonderful show, and wonderful it is. Her enchanting style looks deceptively childlike but on closer inspection the attention to detail is quite something. I was really pleased to see so many red dots – indicating sold – but was not at all surprised. If like me you’re also a fan of Eileen’s work there were still a few pieces available but you will need to get your skates on as I think it might be a sell out show. Open to the public from tomorrow until 19th November, do make sure you make a special visit to see this gorgeous exhibition. Click on the pictures to view them in the lightbox.

There’s another preview coming up next weekend which is likely to be equally popular. Jeremy Paul, perhaps one of our best known local artists, opens his new show at The Isle Gallery on Sunday 1st October 2.00pm – 5.00pm. “Wildlife – An Artist’s View” celebrates nature in all its glory with Jeremy’s incredibly lifelike portrayal of wildlife from across the globe. From the Ranthambhore Tiger to Local Barn Owls & the Arctic Polar Bear, Jeremy presents over 30 new works depicting creatures small and large from Africa, Costa Rica, the Arctic and the Isle of Man.

Category winner of the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year, and select finalist for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016 and 2017 and recipient of a British Wildlife Award, Jeremy Paul exhibits worldwide, achieving international acclaim. “My aim as a wildlife artist is not merely to illustrate but to impart the atmosphere of the setting and the feel of the wildlife in its natural environment. I spend many hours in the field observing wildlife and looking for settings and lighting to inspire an idea for a painting.”

This exhibition has been kindly supported by Blackford Financial Services, the Isle of Man Arts Council and Culture Vannin and runs from Tuesday 3rd October – Sunday 12th November.

Manos Kalamenios, a former student of the Isle of Man College (as it was known at the time), is doing amazingly well in the UK. He posted up this week that it’s been 5 months since his participation at Ceramic Art London and that lots of things have happened since then. Notably he’s taking part in two major shows in the UK – the London Design Festival at Tent London which was on over this weekend and closed yesterday, and also the British Ceramic Biennial in Stoke on Trent as part of FRESH exhibition which is on between 23rd September – 5th November 2017. So congratulations to him and if you’re in Stoke on Trent do go and have a look at his work – it’s really something special. Here are a few examples of his work.

I’ve noticed Sam Maiden’s work popping up on the internet recently and thought I would share this lovely series of photos with you of one of my favourite structures, Queen’s Pier in Ramsey. I think you’ll agree they are rather lovely. I’m so delighted that restoration work is underway but obviously it’s going to take a lot of time, money and expertise. If you would like to help the Queen’s Pier Restoration Trust they have a Facebook page you can follow where they sometimes post up requests for help by people with particular skills and they also have a great website where you can get lots of additional info and Donate.

News Shorts

There’s a new exhibition opening at the Manx Museum on 7th October, exploring the beauty of Manx Tholtans.  The show focuses on these fascinating buildings through the eyes of Manx photographer, Ray Kelly and multi-media artist, Niamh Kelly. Ray has now produced a second photographic volume of these lovely old ruins. I saw some of Niamh’s ceramic work earlier this year at the Hodgson Loom gallery in their annual exhibition, which this year had the theme of ‘Time’. Niamh won the Ceramic category and was runner up overall, so I’m sure we can look forward to seeing some more of her wonderful pieces.

Dates for your Diary

On now until 8 October; Isle of Man Society of Architects at The Sayle Gallery

On now until 30 September; “Views, Vistas & Studies” at the Hodgson Loom Gallery

Opening today, 25 September; ‘Painted Dreams’ by Eileen Schaer a the House of Manannan, Peel

Opening 1 October – 12 November; ‘Wildlife – an Artist’s View” – Jeremy Paul at The Isle Gallery

7 October – 27 January 2018; Manx Tholtans at the Manx Museum – Ray Kelly and Niamh Kelly

7 – 28 October – All things Loaghtan at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in conjunction with the 7th North Atlantic Sheep Conference

12-15 October – 7th North Atlantic Native Sheep and Wool Conference. For full details go to

 13 October – Arts, Craft and Demonstration Fayre at The Working Men’s Institute in Laxey – 11.00am – 9.00pm

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

Please remember to Share this post via your social media to help get the word out about our fabulous local Artists.

Have a great week!

Jane x

PS There will not be a news post next week as I’m having a day off! xx

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Isle of Man Art News – 23 May 2016


This week’s Isle of Man Art update has a very international flavour, with our Artists’ work reaching Melbourne, the United States and indeed worldwide – read on to find out who has been doing what.

minilogoKaty Mitchell, always a very busy lady, said that she was “very very VERY excited” to have been selected to participate in the inaugural mentorship programme organised by the Craft Potters Association, in partnership with Adopt A Potter. She has been paired with Helen Beard, an established and successful ceramicist based in Clerkenwell, London, who produces wheel-thrown and hand-illustrated porcelain pots. Katy says that she has followed her work for years and almost fell off her chair when she read the acceptance email. She will be visiting Helen in June and then follow up with Skype sessions. Katy goes on to say that she is “deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn from such a talented and respected maker” and added her thanks to the Isle of Man Arts Council for approving a small travel bursary to assist with flights to London, along with thanks to the good friends who offered advice on her mentorship application. 

Katy will also be participating in The Cup Collaboration again this year. Her partner will be Anne-Laure Charlier, a French potter who produces beautiful porcelain vessels, hand-painted with magical, dream-like creatures. Sixty-two Australian and International ‘clay’ sisters and brothers are making cups for this year’s project. The participants are carefully matched and asked to collaborate to produce two cups together and one cups each for this event, so 4 cups between them. The cups will be exhibited in Melbourne but available to purchase online.  The event dates are 12-18 Sept 2016 – here is the website if you would like more information on this event. You can also find more of Anne-Laure’s work on Instagram.



 minilogoI’m not sure on first acquaintance that I would put Jeremy Paul in the ‘cool dude’ bracket, but that’s right where he is in my estimation right now! Jeremy got in touch to let me know that his ‘Lion-Warrior’ image which is licensed to the US shirt company ‘The Mountain’ features in Rhianna’s video “Work”. When I looked on You Tube, it had had 357,346,491 views. Let’s hope he sells even half as many shirts….. Just to clarify, in case you think Jeremy is a big Rhianna fan – which is possible in all fairness – he did tell me it was his daughter that spotted it 😉   I think this is brilliant – thanks for getting in touch Jeremy! Here is a screen shot and a picture of the shirt. 


minilogoAnother of our local Artists, Gary Bennett, seems to have ‘gotten himself a cult following in the US of A’. (You need to imagine saying that in an American accent by the way and I said ‘gotten’ on purpose – doesn’t it make you cringe?). I can hardly believe I’ve got two such hugely entertaining stories to tell you in one news update, but Gary has a ‘Goth’ fan club and his work features on the website Gothic.Life. This blog has a whole page about Gary and his work, along with a few ‘interesting’ adult ads which I can assure you has nothing to do with my browsing preferences….!!


minilogoMoving back to more local news, Phil Kneen posted up that this December will mark the 10th anniversary of him photographing “the seedy underbelly that is the Isle of Man music scene”. From late 2006 he photographed most of the local bands. As he has A LOT of these photos – most of which haven’t been seen for years or not at all –  he plans to put on an exhibition. He’ll need a venue and a sponsor so if anyone is interested please do get in touch. If the pictures Phil regularly posts up on his blog are anything to go by it will be a fabulous show.

James Gillespie – photo by Phil Kneen
minilogoISLEXPO is on Wednesday this week and it promises to be a great day. I’ve booked a day off from the day job so that I can go and will be dragging along my wing-lady, Sarah, who enjoyed herself immensely when she came with me on the first day of the Isle of Man Art Festival. Hopefully the Google Digital Lab I’ve booked us in for won’t make her run for the hills. From an Arty perspective, Helen Fox made a video about the Pecha Kucha presentation which is on from 6.00pm- 7.00pm.  It looks like it’s going to be great with some really interesting speakers.
 islexpo logo
minilogoI posted up about Essentia, the BA (hons) Fine Arts Degree show in last week’s news. This promises to be a great show and is on for 4 weeks, opening this week on Friday 27th at 9.00am
 Here are just a few photographs from the second year’s show that was on over the weekend (and finishes today, Monday).
minilogoYou may remember I mentioned last week that there was to going to be an Ad for the Directory and that it was going to be pretty big….. Well here it is – and the reason it is big is that that it is going on the side of a bus! I’m pretty pleased with it – if you see it around and about over the next few weeks do take a picture of it or let me know whereabouts on the Island you’ve seen it. Very grateful thanks to the Isle of Man Arts Council for their support in helping to fund this and to Isle of Man Advertising and PR for getting this together and onto the bus for me!


There are a couple of new pages on the Directory (and a couple more nearly ready to go live). A very warm welcome to Neil Milsom and Rob Jones.


minilogoAnd finally, here is this week’s round-up of images from Social Media… 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!