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Isle of Man Art News – 11 July 2016

Bryan Moore

I have a confession to make. I’ve lived here all my life but this year will be my first ever Yn Chruinniaght festival. 

I was thinking about why I have never been to the festival before and part of the reason stems from my experience as a child, 40 years ago, when I attended St. Joseph’s Convent of Mercy school* which was located at 12-14 Finch Road in Douglas. The school closed the year I left (nothing to do with me – nor was it down to Mario Ricciardi flooding the cloakrooms either) and the Convent moved to Selborne Drive for several years before the nuns finally relocated back to the UK.

*As an aside to this wee tale, the wonderfully talented watercolour artist, Julie Collins, attended the Convent and was in the same year as my sister. Another great talent from my year on the musical side of things is Trish Fargher (Douglas Choral Union) and you may also be surprised to know that Damian Chiappelli (Director of the Sayle Gallery) was also a Convent school boy in my brother’s year.

Whilst at the Convent, I somehow got roped (or pushed, I’m not sure which) into going to a Manx dancing class run by the legendary Mona Douglas. The practice space was a rather dilapidated building up a flight of steps and if I remember correctly it was just off Finch Road going up towards Mount Havelock where the car park is now. I’m about as co-ordinated when it comes to dancing as one would imagine Mr Bean to be, so when it came to being entered into the Guild in only the easiest dance (the more complex ones being reserved for the long-standing dance group members who knew what they were doing), and subsequently coming last in said competition I hung up my dancing shoes for good, never to tread stage boards or wave a hankie around in the air again.

Along with this whole ghastly experience was the music which I heard that many times it has left an indelible scar in my memory. I could sing it to you to this day and I detest it with a passion, so I think this is where my dislike of Celtic music and dance stems from. It’s not exclusive in my list of dislikes though. I can’t stand country music either, especially Johnny Cash and Kenny Rodgers which my husband inflicts upon me whenever he’s had one over the eight! 

Next weekend (16th July), therefore, will be my first Yn Chruinniaght and the only reason I am going along is to support our wonderful Artists who will be in residence at the Corrin Hall in Peel. It’s certainly not for music or traditional dancing. However, it is a wonderful opportunity to stock up on cards and hand-crafted gifts and as we are on the wrong side of the solstice with the days getting shorter I’m planning on thinking about the ‘C’ word and getting a few gifts organised for that naughty December festival that has a nasty habit of creeping up on you while you’re not looking.

Look out for Nicola Dixon, Graham Hall, Katy Mitchell, Element.Isle and Faye Christian amongst other talented folk. The fab poster below is by Alice Quayle (Alice’s Illustrations). Click on the picture to see it in the lightbox.

minilogoHuge Congratulations to the BA (Hons) Fine Art students! They got their results on Friday and I wasn’t at all surprised: Rosie Wood and Helen Tate got Firsts and Bryan Moore and Kirsti Penzes both got 2:1’s. I’m so delighted for them as they have all worked incredibly hard. Helen and Kirsti are working part-time at The Sayle Gallery and I think Rosie is having a short break before starting her next endeavour. Bryan is currently working on a graphic novel and has some plans for where he wants to go with his skills. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing them all well in their artistic careers. Kirsti should have a page on the Directory soon but Rosie, Helen and Bryan’s pages are all live so click on their names to go and take a look. Here is a taster from each of them.


minilogoI caught up with my favourite French friend, Bruno Cavellec, on Friday. He’s all cock-a-hoop at France being in the final of the Euro’s (final result at this point not known). I didn’t realise that he was such a passionate football fanatic. Anyway, with all of the footy excitement he’s taken his eye off the ball (groan….) on the Art side of things just recently and told me that he was back off to his studio after lunch to get stuck into work for his solo exhibition at the Isle Gallery in October. He has the title of it and sketched his plan for the poster for me. I’ll not divulge the title just yet but  you can look forward to paintings, graphic art, photography and printing/lino cuts. Here is a recent self portrait to keep you going until then.


minilogoHelen Fox has posted up on the Douglas Market Hall FB page that she is looking for a student or recent graduate to produce a Zine for the Creative Industries Summer Project. Contact if you are interested.Want to know what a Zine is? Check it out here…..



minilogoRebecca Odessa has spent the last week at the Slade Summer School in London and has been loving every minute of it. She’s also good at writing and has been doing a daily blog to catalogue her time which is a very easy and entertaining read. When I visited Rebecca for coffee and a chat a few weeks ago, she showed me some of her ‘pre-Slade’ collage work and I don’t think she will mind me saying that her ‘post-Slade’ collage work is considerably better. I’m therefore very excited to see how her studies this year will manifest into new work for her. I also had a sneak preview of a painting she has been working on that is one of a series of 12 and it blew me away. I can’t wait until she exhibits that work.




minilogoAnd finally, a bit of arty video for you. Adam Berry posted up this process video on his FB page to show how me makes a face ‘facey like’. Looks pretty facey to me 🙂 


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. If you would like to do more to help, you can make a wee donation via PayPal here, advertise on this site or sponsor these news updates – just drop me a line for more information:

Have a great week!


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Isle of Man Art News – 20 June 2016


One of my day-job colleagues mentioned last week that there are only 5 weeks left of school until the summer holidays, which I was quite shocked to hear as my children have left school and the term dates are no longer on my radar. Five weeks! And then, to further support the truth of this the End of Year Exhibition invitation from the Isle of Man College (now University College Isle of Man) popped up in my inbox.

What a great show. There really is some fabulous work on display and the range of mediums used and diversity of ideas really does evidence the skill sets being taught at the College. I’m including a few pictures that I snapped on my jazzy new camera that I don’t know how to use because I’ve only read the first half of the manual. (Does anyone ever really make it all the way to the end of those things?). 

I was particularly taken with Lucy Pendlebury’s ceramics (first and third photo below and the featured image this week) and was vindicated in my choice when she won one of the awards presented on the evening for her work. Lucy is heading off to university in September so it will be exciting to see how her skills develop over the next 3 years. 


Click on the pictures to view them in the lightbox.

Other young artists that particularly caught my eye were Grace Harrop with her mixed media pieces made with wax amongst other things (picture bottom middle) and also Isobel Heath (2 of her pics below), who told me that she started concentrating on doing portraits during life drawing classes so that she didn’t have to draw any gentlemen’s bits. I don’t think she’ll mind too much that I’ve put that in the news as she did write something along those lines in her Artist’s Statement. I can’t name everyone in here who I thought was good (and there were many), so I will leave it to you to decide for yourself. You can go into the College to see the exhibition during normal College hours – the show is on until 28th June.


minilogoJulia Smyth at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey nearly made me spit my coffee out laughing this week when she emailed to say that unfortunately Michael Starkey had had to unfortunately cancel his exhibition at the last minute so there was now “nowt on in the gallery this week other than performance art entitled, ‘Curator Meltdown’. Private viewings only”. Being the true professional she is though, Julia pulled it together and now has an exciting show lined up called ‘Summer Invitational’ featuring Howard Shimmin, Rebecca Odessa, Clara Nathan and Kasia Mirska. Here is a wee preview of what you can expect to see. It looks like it’s going to be a really vibrant and colourful show. It opens next Saturday, 25th June at 2.00pm and then runs until 16th July.


minilogoBearing in mind that the School holidays are, as mentioned, only 5 weeks away, the ArtReach Studios ladies at the Isle Gallery have published their latest schedule of Summer workshops for children which should be a lot of fun. I have, in a rash moment (I wasn’t drunk, honestly…), enrolled onto the Frida Khalo adult workshop next weekend. Given that I just about know which end of a pencil to use and my artistic prowess extends to drawing stick people I confess I am slightly terrified. At least I should have something amusing for you to laugh at in the news next week. On at the Isle Gallery right now is a joint exhibition – Bryony Harrison and Brigid Stowell. Their work sits very well together. The stand out piece for me I think is Brigid’s picture of the Gaiety on a rainy night which she described as ‘a squinter’! 


minilogoIf you missed the BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree Show – Essentia – which opened in May and closed last week, the College has kindly sent me this video which I am delighted to be able to share with you. All the assessments have now been done and it is a case of waiting for grades, always a nervous time. I thought the quality of the work was really wonderful and on my visit on one of the last days before the show was taken down I had the opportunity to ask Bryan Moore about the words he had used to ‘set the scene’ for his work. I thought perhaps he had found literature which had inspired him but it turned out that he is not only a brilliant Artist but also an awesome descriptive writer as well. Definitely keep an eye out for all of these talented folk as I am sure we will be seeing great things from them in the future: Bryan Moore, Kirsti Penzes, Helen Tate and Rosie Wood.




minilogoAnd finally – a week wouldn’t be a week without squeezing in one of Bruno’s pictures somewhere. Here is his latest picture Miserere, and I just love it. Also, last minute breaking news ….. Jimmy Duggan now has a page on the Directory – a very warm welcome to him.


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. 

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 – 6 June 2016


What a fantastic week of glorious sunshine we have had on the Isle of Man this week – there’s nothing better for the Island than some good weather for our TT guests and great racing. Whilst I know that people are mainly here for the motor sport there are opportunities in between racing and other events where you might be kicking around for something to do, so bearing in mind that bikers come from all walks of life and have many and varied interests (as well as bikes), take a look at the Calendar to see what’s on around and about the Island. There are some great exhibitions on at the Galleries along with opportunities to buy TT related Art souvenirs which can be either taken home or sent home.

Here is this week’s news update. I continue to be in awe of just how many amazingly talented Artists we have here on the Island.

minilogoHuge congratulations this week to local Artist, Stephanie Quayle, who will have her orangutan ‘Man of The Trees’ exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition this year. Stephanie has recently relocated back to the Island from London with her husband, Darren Jackson, and baby son (who is super-cute). I had the pleasure to meet them all earlier this year at a Creative Network event. Her work really is wonderful, often on an impressive scale, and has been exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions in a number of London galleries.

Closer to home, you will no doubt remember the huge Loaghtan Sheep at the Bungalow which sadly died of exposure to the Manx winter weather earlier this year and the absolutely MASSIVE Mannanin sculpture at Mannifest a few years ago. These were also the work of Stephanie and Darren. Darren is an Artist in his own right and is known for his ice sculptures as well as working with metal. You’ll probably be familiar with his work and not realise it – some of which includes a commission for the Southern Show made up of farm metalwork collected from around the island and a giant elk for the Curragh’s wildlife park.


minilogoAlice Quayle posted up this lovely map of Peel which she is doing for the Peel Commissioners and was suggested by Ray Harmer MHK. She says she might ‘polish it up’ a bit more yet but it’s definitely a useful one to share with our visitors this next week. Nice one Alice!

minilogoPhil Kneen, bless him, has had a heck of a week. First of all he had problems with a packet of McVitie’s fruit shortcake biscuits because they had put the opening tab a quarter of the way down the packet instead of where it’s supposed to be, near the top.  He said he was so upset and distressed by this that he had had to eat the whole packet. I totally understand – I mean there’s no sensible way to close it up again if the tab is so far down. You have to eat all of the biscuits above the tab to have any chance at all and then there’s really no point in leaving the rest of them. His next problem was again with biscuits, this time Rich Tea. The tab was in the right place but due to being upset by the change in modus operandi he felt compelled to eat the whole packet again. I’m not so sure about this, however, and suspect it was really an excuse.

His third problem (they say these things come in three’s) is much more of an issue to my mind. Phil posted up a link to his latest blog post ‘Hannah’ to the Manx Photographer’s FB page and clearly indicated that it contained nudity: ***Article contains nudity*** is a big hint – and yet someone reported it to Facebook! I find it quite incredible that someone has done this. Phil’s work really is top class, tastefully done and clearly flagged. You’d have to click on the link and go to Phil’s blog to view the post so to my mind, if you don’t want to see it, don’t click on the link. Simples.  

If you want to see the post you can click here. And if you don’t want to see any nudity, don’t. I’m including a picture of the offending packet of fruit shortcake biscuits to ensure that I avoid censure (although there is a bit of naked biscuit to be seen).



minilogoThe Hodgson Loom Gallery is currently host to the annual TT Fotofinders Photographic Exhibition which delves into the archives of two wheel, 3 wheel and even a few 4 wheel motorsport, spanning over a 100 years. There are also views of the mountain course by Petrina Kent like you’ve never seen before – not unless you’ve been looking in your wing mirror! Plus a different side of the TT, photographs of TT marshals by Martyn Parnell. Here is a little taster of what you can see.



minilogoWelcome to Rosie Wood, who is the latest Artist to list on the Directory. Rosie is waiting for her results as she is one of the third year students graduating from this year’s BA (Hons) Fine Arts Degree course run by UCM (formerly the Isle of Man College). I’ve got everything crossed for you Rosie but I’m sure you won’t need it. Don’t forget to call into The Douglas Market Hall to see Rosie’s work and that of her fellow students, Bryan Moore, Kirsti Penzes and Helen Tate. It’s a great way to spend your lunch hour if you work in an office in Douglas – and it’s free.



minilogoIf you enjoy these news updates, please Share them with your friends and colleagues to help promote our local Artists. Here is a round up of images selected from Social Media this 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!