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Isle of Man Art News – 14 November 2016


The News is kindly Supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council.

My dad used to say, ‘always make sure you look presentable because you never know who you might bump into’ and this week his words of wisdom were much appreciated when I was trying to decide what to wear and decided to go the extra mile and opted for ‘smart’ rather than ‘smart casual’. My husband’s grandfather, Hector Duff, had invited me to the Joint Ex Servicemen’s Association luncheon at the Empress. He just said ‘Would you be able to come?’ and I said ‘Yes of course, I’d be delighted’. That’s pretty much all I knew about it except that Colleen Corlett and her husband David had also been invited, so I hope you can imagine my surprise to find myself on the top table with, amongst others, Colleen, David, Hector, the Mayor and Mayoress of Douglas and sat next to the former Lieutenant Governor, Major General Sir Laurence New! I was very surprised and felt very honoured indeed to be in such company. It was a very enjoyable occasion and I was greatly impressed to discover that Sir Laurence has his own website and is very ‘techno-savvy’. Of course the first thing I did when I got home was to look it up and I have to say it really is a remarkable and fascinating site, very comprehensive and with some great photographs on it. The website is “A Pictorial History of the 4th and 7th Royal Tank Regiments” and can be found at

For those who might not know, this year is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme which took place between 1st July and 18th November 1916. More than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in history. As it was Remembrance Sunday yesterday, I thought it very appropriate to use one of Paul Parker’s new pictures of the War Memorial on Douglas Promenade as the featured image this week, just one of his new works which will be at The Sayle Gallery from 25th November.

With the greatest respect for all those who have given their lives in battle; we will remember them.

minilogoI popped into the Isle Gallery at Tynwald Mills on Saturday to have quick look at the new exhibition “Myths and Morphons” which features Artists Colette Gambell, Anna Clucas (who has a beautiful new baby boy, Vinnie – Congratulations Anna!), Julie Roberts and Simon Park. There are some very nice pieces but it’s easy to get distracted by Simon’s large photographic works which are really engaging. I’m not sure where I would have the space for one and I kind of think you would need two or three to really make it work as it’s very much a ‘collection’ – but that’s just my personal opinion – and they are lovely if you have the right space for them. There’s every good reason to head to Tynwald Mills at this time of year so don’t forget to call in while you are there for a look and to say hello to the ArtReach ladies.

The other reason I called into The Isle Gallery was to pick up Christmas Cards from Nicola Dixon to give to the winner of the Facebook competition, France Gayon, who lives in Paris! Great to see local work heading further afield. Nicola was teaching at the Gallery on Saturday – here is a clip of her in action 🙂

minilogoIf you missed out on Nicola’s Christmas cards I am currently running another give-away on Facebook of Jeremy Paul’s cards. I’ve asked people to put a wild animal or bird in the comments that you’d like to see Jeremy paint (this is so that I know you have entered the competition). Jeremy has replied to lots of the entries already about what he is or isn’t likely to paint so it’s worth a look if only to see what we can hope to see soon!

minilogoWhile I was out and about I collected the Christmas Cards from Jeremy and called into Grenaby Studios (Ballabeg) to see the space now that Claire Pearse (Element.isle) has moved across the yard to the Studio next to Graham Hall. Grenaby is a really lovely location with a great creative vibe about it and well worth a visit – if you haven’t discovered it yet you can see the map of where it is HERE . You’ll be sure of a warm welcome even if you’re just stopping by for a mooch. Claire was telling me that it’s getting busier and busier as more people find out about it and that last Friday was their busiest to date – she was at the Studio until 2am re-stocking for the Saturday!

Graham has been busy too – we were talking about some of his sculptural pieces (which are to die for) and I had the privilege of having a look through his sketch book which holds all kinds of promising gorgeousness. As he says though, they are very time consuming and with demand as it is at present he’s been busy fulfilling orders. Here’s a video of him at work on a recent piece which is still available in the shop at Grenaby (if you’re quick…).

minilogoI’ve had a busy week all in all! On Friday night I went to the Preview of ‘Creature Cornucopia’ at the Hodgson Loom Gallery (Laxey Woollen Mills). This is a joint exhibition of Meriel Burden’s paintings and Erica Kermode’s sculptures, as ever beautifully curated by Julia Smyth. I was very pleased indeed to at last meet Meriel in person. Meriel has a page on the Directory but up until Friday we had only communicated by email! I was also really delighted to see how beautifully her pictures ‘sing’ when viewed in person. As with most non-digitally produced art, the internet does not do it justice. I was not at all surprised to see that 3 of my favourite paintings of hers had been snapped up before I arrived.

Erica Kermode’s sculptures, particularly of the African animals, are also lovely to see ‘in the flesh’. I had a lovely chat with Erica about different types of clay which was very interesting and I am very tempted to have a go at one of her workshops. I feel that I’d probably be better at ‘making’ something that trying to draw or paint something. After my Frida Khalo efforts I know you’ll all be hoping that to be the case! One of these days I might have a go….

Creature Cornucopia is on until 3 December (which is handing in date for the annual competition, this year with the theme of  ‘TIME’).

minilogoDates for your Diary

THE LAST WEEK, UP TO 19 NOVEMBER AT THE MANX MUSEUM ‘Islands and Bridges’ The Art of Roger Dean.  If you haven’t been to see this yet but have been meaning to you’ve only got this week left!

On now – Autumnal Show – Sheena Graham-George at Studio 42

On now to 20 November – Colleen Corlett “Answering the Need to Create” at the Sayle Gallery

On now – 20 November – The Alchemists Photography Exhibition at Noa Bakehouse

On now – 27 November – The Isle Gallery : Myths and Morphons

On now through November – IOM Arts Council Loan Collection at the Erin Arts Centre

On now to 3 December – Creature Cornucopia Preview at the Hodgson Loom Gallery

10, 17 & 24 November 2016 at The Isle Gallery – Hand Printed Fabric & Surface Pattern Design – 7pm – 9.30pm

12 & 19 November at The Sayle Gallery – Ceramic Giftware Workshops – Adult and Family sessions

17 November – Studio 42’s Christmas Show preview 6.30 – 8.30pm

22 November – Creative Network AGM – 7pm – Noa Bakehouse

24 November – Paul Parker’s Exhibition Preview at The Sayle Gallery

26 November – Katy Mitchell’s open Studio at Lower Bishopscourt Farm (with mulled wine…. mmmmmm)

1 December – Artist Networking Event at The Sayle (tbc).

minilogoHere’s this week’s round-up of pictures sourced from Social Media. Enjoy!

Have a great week!


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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!


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