Posted on Leave a comment

Glen Truan’s collection of original paintings by Jeremy Paul

jeremy-paul-barn-owl

One of the things that’s captured me in recent months is the award of UNESCO Biosphere status to the Isle of Man, the first entire country in the world to receive this prestigious endorsement.

This incredible award is an honour to the Isle of Man, through which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) describe our island as ‘a special place for people and nature’.

I admire the way in which the island’s people take care of our natural environment, heritage and culture – something which has been inherent in our communities across the centuries, shaping the incredible place in which we live and work today.

I’m privileged to work for Manx National Heritage in some of the Isle of Man’s most special places, whilst also having a lifelong connection to nature and the environment through our family home at Glen Truan in the island’s north.

Our family connection to the natural environment is reflected in our art collection, which strongly features the work of wildlife artist Dr Jeremy Paul. Jeremy believes in seeing animals in their natural environment before depicting them. That way he can experience the nuances of light, landscape and behaviour that set his paintings apart.

We’re blessed to have such talented artists on the Isle of Man. There’s something magical about the island, which resonates in their work – ‘a special place for people and nature’.

I’ll leave you with a snapshot of the ‘magic’ and ‘special place’ held in our family art collection:

‘Ghost Barn Owl’ – This stunning original painting needs no introduction and sits on our farmhouse wall. Since purchasing it in 2013, ‘Ghost Barn Owl’ has traveled to Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin USA, featuring in ‘Birds in Art’, an internationally renowned exhibition attracting wildlife artists from across the world. Prints are available on www.jeremypaulwildlifeartist.co.uk.

Click on the pictures to view in the Lightbox.

‘Chaffinch in Wisteria’ – I adore this intricately painted Chaffinch, gently perched on the vibrant Wisteria. This lovely painting sits above our kitchen table and is admired each day.

‘Chaffinch on Gorse’ – This little chaffinch transports me to a special place in nature – the golden gorse of our family home.

‘Oyster Catcher at the Ayres’ – oystercatchers are always such a beautiful sight. Look closely at the stunning detail of the bird’s orange bill dabbling for food and listen… you can almost hear the gentle waves lapping onto the beach at the Ayres.

 

Lynsey Clague
Glen Truan
May 2017

#isleofman #people #nature #UNESCO #biosphere #invest #art #culture #heritage

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Anthea Young – Education Services Officer at Manx National Heritage

anthea-young-profile

I work as Education Services Officer for (MNH) Manx National Heritage and lead on both formal and informal learning programmes using historic sites, collections and exhibitions to promote learning opportunities.

My love of museums and museum education initially grew from my childhood exploits at museums and art galleries in the North East of England through frequent family visits to historic sites and many welcome out of school visits. The ability of an out of school visit to stir the creative imagination of a child is something I remember well, which later became the focus for my future career. On moving to the Isle of Man, I later studied a degree in Geology and gained my PGCE specialising in Art and Science and taught at Victoria Road Primary School. In 2006 I commenced my post within MNH and gained my Post Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies.

My day-to-day work focuses on planning educational programmes and events for both formal education and informal family audiences. My work is tremendously varied using the sites, collection and exhibition programmes to engage learners of all ages in the work and collections of Manx National Heritage.  One of the joys of my work is the interaction I have with the Island’s creative community to communicate the stories of our collections to visitors.

Engaging family audiences and children has become increasingly important in our work within Manx National Heritage and I continually seek new ways in which to build creativity into our exhibition programmes. Recent refurbishments within our sites and museums, has also afforded us additional opportunity to work with Island based creatives to provide family centred spaces.

  • Photo Nautical Museum interactive area refitting the Nautical Museum in 2015. Island costumier Penny Nuttall contributed her skills in Georgian dressmaking and doll making for our family friendly space.

The Manx National Heritage exhibition programme is the foundation point of my planning. This year we have successfully planned family workshops and trails utilising the skills of on Island artists for a wide range of learners. Last year in partnership with artists Kate Jerry, Colette Gambell and Anna Clucas- ‘Artreach Studios’ – we delivered drawing and ceramics workshops  to young learners as part of the Jorvik touring exhibition Valhalla Life and Death in Viking Britain

In contrast, 2017 marks the centenary of the death of Manx folklorist Sophia Morrison. To highlight the creative potential of both exhibitions local artist Juan Moore taught a series of Viking and folklore themed workshops at both the Manx Museum and House of Manannan. Juan also rose to the challenge to provide a series of detailed illustrations for our ‘Otherworlds’ trail, which was very appealing to our family groups.  In addition to workshops for younger visitors I have also really enjoyed working with Jean Buck of the Guild of Silk painter’s Isle of Man branch, to host a beginner’s silk painting workshop for adults themed around the work of Sophia Morrison. What I appreciate most about collaborative working is the enthusiasm shown by artists and craftspeople to communicate their craft to learners of wide ranging abilities.

The ability to present dynamic formal educational programmes relies on the diversity of on-island creative partners. Our formal education programme, structured for Island school children, is delivered to just over 4000 children each academic year. Our Friends of Manx National Heritage volunteers are instrumental in preparing high volumes of a range of resources to ensure all children have an opportunity to be creative. 

  • Tiles and Lewis chess pieces made by FMNH for children to paint.
  • Photo pewter workshop-Vikings of Valhalla House of Manannan- Marown school Billy Kelly and Susan Quilliam.

My current project is launching our schools and community loan box scheme ‘Museum on the Move’.  This project has been a unique opportunity to work with Island craftspeople in making quality, bespoke reproduction objects. The ‘Museum on the Move’ outreach scheme was initially conceived to connect schools and community groups with the museum’s collections. The first boxes explore prehistoric and Viking culture. In commissioning Island artisans to make reproduction objects, many further questions arose around how the original objects were originally made and used. Dialogue between artists and curatorial staff has resulted in an enriched understanding of the original object story.

  • Photo loan boxes- ‘Museum on the Move’ Commissions by Graham Hall, Laxey Blacksmith & Morgan Stonehouse

The ‘Museum on the Move’ scheme will be launched in May 2017 for Island schools.

I strongly believe that creativity, learning and enjoyment, is at the heart of museum education. With the future of our sites, collections and stories residing in the hearts and minds of the youngest of our museum visitors, I hope to continue to work with Island’s artists to inspire our custodians of the future.

 

Anthea Young
Education Services Officer – Manx National Heritage
April 2017

Posted on Leave a comment

Hannah Murphy, Manx National Heritage

I work for Manx National Heritage (MNH) as Assistant Curator of Documentation and Records. After qualifying several years ago with a Master of Arts in Museum Studies I moved back home to the Isle of Man, hoping that a job would come up at the Manx Museum. A couple of years later I was lucky enough to secure a job with Manx National Heritage.

Typically you’ll find me cataloguing objects and archives, preparing digital content for MNH’s iMuseum website and updating our collections management database. My role continues to grow and change and more recently I’ve become involved in organising community exhibitions. It’s a step away from my roots in museum documentation, but an experience which I’ve found very rewarding. At MNH we’re a relatively small yet busy team where all hands do everything and this allows for tremendous variety in my job.

I’ve always been interested in how community exhibitions can bring people’s skills and ideas to our sites. Galleries are social spaces and excellent for presenting a diverse range of local stories, identities and a sense of Manx heritage. Starting a professional qualification in 2012 (the Associateship of the Museums Association) gave me the motivation to put my theory into practice. As a result I launched You Exhibit, an application process where community groups and individuals can apply to stage pop-up exhibitions at an MNH site.

You Exhibit has given me the opportunity to work with artists and community groups including the Creative Network, Isle of Man Photographic Society, Isle of Man College, the RNLI and the Western Photographic Society. Each partner brings a new approach to gallery display and MNH exhibitions are kept fresh, current and relevant by showcasing local talent. At the end of an exhibition partners often take interpretative panels and labels for use in their own studio or clubhouse, ensuring that materials are reused and enjoyed in other spaces.

It was particularly rewarding to host ARTiculate at the Manx Museum, a 2015 exhibition by five Isle of Man College HND Fine Art students: Ruth Gale, Helen Tate, Kirsten Penzes, Bryan Moore and Laurence Gale. The students saw behind the scenes of the making of an exhibition, working alongside professional museum staff to learn about the planning and installing of an exhibition. Some of the students have since graduated and I’ve enjoyed seeing their work at the Sayle Gallery’s recent exhibition ‘4 Years On’.

Another highlight for me was curating the 2016 exhibition ‘Islands and Bridges: the Art of Roger Dean’ at the Manx Museum with partners 3FM, Isle of Man Steam Packet and IOM Post. The unique, fantastical and vibrant artworks captured the imagination of visitors of all ages. Comments in the visitor’s book revealed that people had come to the Island from the UK and even further afield to see the exhibition. One of the paintings, titled ‘Meeting Place’ was inspired by the Isle of Man. It features a tree from a location near Tynwald Hill – a recognisable feature which has now become part of Roger’s otherworldly landscape.

 

Museums are all about people and their stories. My involvement in community exhibitions have given me the opportunity to meet so many interesting people and learn so many new things. You Exhibit is intended to encourage dialogue between the museum and the wider community, celebrating the strong connections which individuals have with this Island as an inspirational place to live, work and visit.

 

Hannah Murphy

March 2017