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Isle of Man Art News – 11 September 2017

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Regular readers of this blog may well remember the ‘dog and stairs’ incident just before TT week, when I missed the last step of the stairs and injured my left knee and both ankles. Having decided that I was now not sufficiently injured to warrant not doing any exercise, and as the scales are currently saying ‘one at a time please’, I’ve finally made a decision and joined the gym. Seriously though, I did the fitness test on the cross trainer and it said ‘well below average’. No surprise really but not exactly heartening!

Anyway, I made my first foray to the gym on Friday night after work to fill in the time before heading over to the Sayle Gallery for the opening of their new show – the first by the Isle of Man Society of Architects (SofA). I was really delighted to see such a great turn out and lots of new faces which will hopefully help to bring a new audience to the gallery on a more regular basis. Here’s a video of the opening address by Martyn Thomas.

As well as the show of various projects there are the best photographs from the #ilovethisbuilding competition and some of Patricia Tutt’s fabulous photographs. Patricia has a lovely selection of photographic prints available for sale and they really are stunning.

I caught up with a few people including Gavin Carter who has a mini exhibition on at the Sayle and I’m glad to report that he has decided to stay on the island for the foreseeable future. Gavin has participated in the last two summer workshop days with the Sayle (both of which I’ve missed due to taking holidays in August!). Here is the lovely carving he made with the children and another of his pieces from the show.

It was a full-on arty weekend, as Saturday saw the opening of “Views, Vistas & Studies” at the Hodgson Loom Gallery. John Caley and Ronnie Doyle were both there in person but unfortunately Max Aitken wasn’t, which I was disappointed about especially on seeing his work. Hopefully I will be able to catch up with him soon.

As expected, Julia had done a lovely job of curating the show and if you’re looking for some original artwork to grace your walls presently you’ll be spoilt for choice with this gorgeous collection. Max’s work is mainly acrylic and is bold and vibrant; Ronnie’s work in water colours is striking and compelling and John’s work is exquisite and serene. Here are a few pics to whet your appetite.

I mentioned last week that Eileen Schaer has an upcoming exhibition “Painted Dreams” at the House of Manannan and I’m delighted to be able to share a couple of her gorgeous pictures with you this week. The exhibition is covered on page 44 of this month’s Gallery magazine in a lovely article written by Suzy Holland. The show opens to the public on Monday 25th September and I am sure this will be one of the highlight shows of the year.

It was the last day of the Affordable Art Fair in Bristol yesterday and I got an update report from Kate Jerry who is there with her own work as well as representing a number of Artists (Vici Blackburn, Anna Clucas, Colette Gambell, Eileen Schaer, Jeremy Paul, Graham Rider, and Shelby Sandyford Sykesas) as “Isle Contemporary”. Kate said “It’s all going well, particularly as it’s our first fair. We have been rushed off our feet. Excellent exposure for our Manx Artists, and the stand has also attracted lots of people with Island connections, we have been promoting on many levels to a large audience, so it’s got to be good for tourism too!”. I’m really delighted for them and let’s hope this is the first of many.

News Shorts:

And finally, but certainly not least, Hannah Yeowell. Hannah took up photography earlier this year and I think you’ll agree she’s already producing some fabulous work. She has a good teacher mind you – one of my regulars in these news posts – Phil Kneen. I can see his tuition reflected in these photos. She also has a blog ‘Hannalogue’ where you can check out some more of her work – take a look at ‘Ray of Light’, ‘Gone Pickin” and ‘Hello Lomo!’ where her personal style can be seen coming to the fore…. great work Hannah – keep it up!

Dates for your Diary

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

On now until 23 September – “At The Edge of The World” by Julie Collins at The Isle Gallery

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

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

14 September – Printmaking for Beginners and Improvers (Adult class) – The Isle Gallery

15 September – Printmaking for Beginners and Improvers (Friday morning Adult Class) – The Isle Gallery

27 September – Isle of Man Drawing Club: Curvy Life Drawing! – 7pm at the Embassy Rooms, The British Hotel

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

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

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Isle of Man Art News – 31 October 2016


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

Happy Hop tu Naa!

Does that sound right? Hmm possibly not, but being a Manx girl I’m more of a fan of the Manx tradition than all of this commercialised Halloween palaver. Having said that, and having had children, I do admit that I have succumbed in the past to pumpkins rather than moots (turnips for anyone reading this not familiar with the term) simply for their ease of carving. For anyone who’s tried to carve out a turnip without a drill I’m sure you will understand. There have been some great posts about Hop tu Naa over the past week and all sorts of events Island-wide. Culture Vannin’s Facebook page has been great for this so I do recommend you take a look there for some great links to Manx superstitions, turnip carving, stories and poems etc.  This week I’ve collected together some fab pictures from our local Artists in celebration of this much-loved annual tradition.

Rebecca Odessa sent me her thoughts that go with this lovely collage which I think is a good reflection of the true roots of this festival:

“Hop tu Naa is the Manx variant of the Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Regarded as a corridor between the two worlds – light and dark, life and death – Hop tu Naa drew on the twin forces that govern all human existence: the fear of death and the hope of survival. If the harvest was bountiful, survival of the winter was assured – though never certain; if, on the other hand, the harvest was lacking, the fear around this time – as to who would live and who would die – must have been palpable. Either way, it was a time for honouring the dead by bringing them gifts; of contemplating one’s mortality, and preparing oneself psychologically for the difficult months ahead – when one’s life, quite literally, hung in the balance.”

The traditional Hop tu Naa witch that we sang about when I was growing up was ‘Jinny the Witch’. I only know the modern song (below) but there are different variations.

My mother’s gone away
And she won’t be back until the morning
Jinnie the Witch flew over the house
To fetch the stick to lather the mouse
My mother’s gone away
And she won’t be back until the morning
Hop-tu-Naa, Traa-la-laa

I remember my mum covering my face in green shiny eye make up one time for a party – the stereotypical look for witches in the 1970’s – so Jinny never looked anything like Adam Berry’s version to my mind, although his depiction is probably more accurate than my green and warty belief!

Similarly, John Caley’s picture of Jinny is not the black pointy hat version either. Here he is painting his watercolour picture of Jinny, filmed for Manx National Heritage.

Of course, the Queen of all things ghosty and ghoulie and long-legged beastie on the Island has to be Julia Ashby Smyth. Julia’s knowledge of folklore and faery tales is almost as legendary as the legends! How about this for a glorious collection of Halloween worthy creatures?

It’s great that our stories and traditions are being picked up and recountered by people who have come to live here. Kasia Mirska said she had been trying to find out some details regarding the White Lady before she started work on her picture but the only information she could find was that she was accused of murdering her child so she was executed. The ghost is reputedly seen with her hands covered in blood.

Juan Moore usually paints a new picture each year for Halloween so just to round things off, here are three of his pics with the controversial pumpkin! There is a moot in the third picture though so I think we can let him off  🙂

If this isn’t enough spooky for you for today then check out Tanya Anderson’s post from last year “13 Spooky & Haunted places on the Isle of Man”. I’m not sure I would concur with all of them (Polar Bears and Summerland for example) and I’m sure there are other places that aren’t on her list that should be but I didn’t know about the vampire grave so it’s still worth a read. For a bit of fun, if you know of anywhere else haunted on the Island let me know in the comments below!

minilogoMyths and Morphons – The Isle Gallery – Sunday 6 November. The Isle Gallery at  Tynwald Mills will be host to another unique and inspiring exhibition of art works produced by 4 leading contemporary artists. Simon Park, Anna Clucas, Julie Roberts and Colette Gambell will fill the exhibition area with a selection of artworks only to be portrayed from the imagination of the individuals. Artists and the gallery team warmly ask you to join them at 2pm on Sunday 6th November for the opening to celebrate with them an afternoon treat of visual art.

minilogoDates for your  Diary:

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

On now to 5 November – Elemental at the Hodgson Loom Gallery

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

On now to 2 November – Sally Black at Noa Bakehouse

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

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

2 November – Hand Printed Christmas Card and Gift Tag Workshop 10am – 3pm

3 November – The Alchemists Photography Exhibition Preview 7pm at Noa Bakehouse

6 November – 2pm – Opening of the new show at The Isle Gallery : Myths and Morphons

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

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

Please Share these updates with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists.


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