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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.


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Have a great week!


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‘Inspiration’ Exhibition is a Rare Treat

It’s not often you get to pick up an artist’s sketch book and turn over the pages (unless they are your best mate or you’re married to them I guess) but at the new exhibition, ‘Inspiration’, at the Hodgson Loom gallery in Laxey you can do just that. Leafing through the sketches and doodles you really get to appreciate just how wonderfully creative the artists’ minds are. I was turning over the pages in one sketch book thinking ‘well I’d frame that’ and ‘I’d frame that one too’ and ‘Ooooh yes, I’d definitely frame that one’ – and those are just the sketches! 

Julia Ashby Smyth

I had a lovely chat with Julia Ashby Smyth who has curated the exhibition. Julia said that although some of the sketch books are under protective covers she will be selecting different pages for public viewing each day. This, and more work yet to arrive, meant that there would be a dynamic, changing element to the show. Julia’s own work – in a box that you can rifle through (with care, of course) – includes sketches of dragons, faeries and mythical beasties. It’s very evident that her knowledge of Manx folklore has grown through a simple, honest fascination for the subject. In the photograph behind Julia you might recognise the Christmas stamps she designed a few years ago.

Neil Milsom

Neil Milsom popped in while I was there. Neil told me in his lovely soft Irish accent about his passion for pre-history. I hadn’t appreciated at first that he had actually crafted the pin on display using the rudimentary tools on the plinth below it. Neil had seen such a pin crafted in gold on a visit to his home town of Dublin and in his words he had ‘become obsessed by it’. Much of Neil’s work (when he’s not working the day job) is mineral based and reflects the runes and symbols found at ancient sites. You can see more of Neil’s work on his website:

Grace Cain (left) and Rebecca Odessa

I loved Rebecca Odessa’s framed collages. I found the cut, crisp edges and simple backgrounds very pleasing indeed. Rebecca told me that she loves the cutting but is not so fond of the sticking! Nevertheless, she’s done a wonderful job of it and created some really interesting and thought provoking pieces.

Julie Roberts

Julie Roberts also called in but I didn’t get a chance to talk to her about her work. It was lovely to meet her though, albeit briefly, and I did manage to snatch a photo of her standing in front of one of her works. Apologies for the quality of the pictures – I just snapped them on my phone.

Other exhibitors include Rosie Wood, Noelle Quinn, Pat Kelly, Kathy Craig, Kirsten Penzes, Helen Tate, M G Moffatt, Jan Cottier and Cas Powles. The Exhibition is on until 16th April so there is still plenty of time to visit this fascinating insight into the thinking and ideas that go towards producing some of our fabulous local artwork.

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