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Isle of Man Art News – 19 December 2016


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

A new exhibition opened at the Hodgson Loom gallery in Laxey this weekend and I called in on Saturday to have a look at it and to catch-up with Julia Smyth. The show has taken a lot of  putting together with 102 entries this year – not quite beating the previous record of 110 entries – but it’s probably as well or else there wouldn’t be sufficient space to hang it all. This year’s theme is ‘Time’. The first competition was ‘Wool’ and now in its sixth year, other themes have been ‘Earth’, ‘Fire’, ‘Water’ and ‘Air’.

It’s a wonderfully diverse show with many interpretations on the theme and a good selection of work in a variety of mediums. Julia said entries have been received from well known, established artists right through to some of our young, school age, aspiring artists. All of the entries are numbered to make it easy to vote for your favourite piece and judging will take place in the next few weeks with the winners announced during the last week of January. The show will stay up for another week after the results have been announced to allow people time to view the winning entries.

The Gallery and the Woollen Mills are open between Christmas and New Year and it’s one of those places to visit and lovely kind of things you can do in the holidays when you’ve got a bit of time on your hands (sorry) with the family. As well as the Gallery and the Woollen Mills there are a couple of other units in the complex (including Presence of Mann which stocks work by local artists) and of course there’s the cafe for a cuppa and a piece of cake. A nice walk on Laxey beach followed by home and feet up by the fire …. sounds idyllic to me!


My first Christmas gift of the year has already been given and enjoyed! I bought a young lady a place on the Isle Gallery’s ‘Children’s DIY Christmas Gifts’ workshop which was on Saturday afternoon and was very pleased indeed to receive a beautiful hand made card with LOTS of glitter on it. The kids made hand-printed wrapping paper, soaps, bath bombs, glittery Christmas cards and decorated candles amongst other things. I don’t know how they fitted it all in! It looks like a good time was had by all – here’s a video clip of them in action.

The Isle Gallery runs workshops all year round for both adults and children from complete beginners through to more advanced techniques for those who have some experience. Some of you might remember my wall panel effort back in the summer (although I realise there are some things that are best forgotten) so I can say with authority that these really are great, fun classes and an excellent way to ‘have a go’ without spending a fortune on art equipment if you’re not sure whether or not you’ll enjoy it.

New Year is a great time to write that list for 2017, so if you’ve been toying with the idea of doing a bit of art, instead of writing down lots of unrealistic goals that last a month why not do something you might enjoy and stick at and book an art workshop? They’re very affordable too. You can follow the Isle Gallery’s Facebook page, check out their website or just keep an eye on what’s coming up here on the Directory.

I’ve drawn up a wee survey to see what people think about the Directory and what you would like to see in the coming months. It’s still open so you can have your say, good or bad, and it’s totally anonymous so don’t be embarrassed about putting down what you think. The initial results are interesting. I’m planning on doing another short survey soon and will release the results in due course. If you could complete this one I’d really appreciate it – it’s only 7 questions so hopefully should only take you a few minutes:

I’m very grateful for all your support this year in getting the Directory established and would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and every good wish for the New Year. Rather than favour one local artist over another (and to give you all a giggle) I drew my own Christmas Card for you. I’ve now realised of course that it’s  lacking in copious amounts of glitter, but hey ho (or perhaps that should be ‘ho ho ho’?).

Manx National Heritage has been a great supporter of the Directory this year and I was delighted to see that they have surpassed 10,000 Facebook likes. There is an interesting post pinned to the top of their page from the Director dated 11 November (I hadn’t picked up on it until now). It’s worth a read and good to see that the iMuseum is such a great success, so congratulations to them. I was also interested to see that they have recently launched an exclusive new range of products based on the Manx National Art Collection. Placemats, fridge magnets, note books and more are available from the Manx Museum and House of Manannan.

MNH is currently seeking a talented Communications Executive to join their busy team which sounds like fun. It’s described as “a fascinating role working on the promotion of the Isle of Man’s most unique historic places, spaces and museum collections. If you are a creative, fun loving and hard working individual interested in developing your career in marketing and communications, we’d be interested in hearing from you.” The closing date is 8 January and you can click here to download the job description.  You can also contact the Communications Manager by email at or call 01624 648032.

Check out B43D’s interview on ITV news here:

Featherhead is the latest Truman Falls album cover designed by Bruno Cavellec. Bruno’s first love is, somewhat surprisingly you might think, music rather than art so it seems to be a good path for him to follow combining his passion for both music and art by designing album covers. He’s been super busy recently. As well as Featherhead he posted up his recent picture ‘The Sea V’ – and then there was his visit to Manx Radio to talk to Christy deHaven on Sunday Soundtrack which I mentioned in last week’s news and he’s also been manning the Artisan Market at Tynwald Mills which is open every day this week, Monday-Friday 10am- 5pm and Wednesday late night opening till 9pm. He even squeezed in a few minutes to meet Santa!

Alice Quayle’s ace ‘Yessir I can Boogie’ t-shirts have, unsurprisingly, been a huge success and are currently sold out! She says she’s up to her ears in a commission at the moment but will be in touch very soon if you’ve ordered one. If you’re interested in being on the list for the next print run please drop her a line Alice says she’s not sure when the next print run will be quite yet but the more of you who put orders in the sooner it will be is my guess. They are £13 each and printed locally, in Peel – plus p&p of course if need be.

Dates for your Diary

On now to 23 December – Paul Parker – Aspects of Man at The Sayle Gallery (the Gallery will then be closed until 20 January for refurbishment)

On now to 23 December – Christmas Shop at The Sayle Gallery

On now until Christmas – Nancy Corkish, David Bryne and Friends at The Isle Gallery

On now through December – Studio 42’s Christmas Show

On now to the beginning of February – Hodgson Loom Open Art Competition show

20 December – The Isle Gallery – Christmas Lantern Family Art Workshop (10am)

20 December – The Isle Gallery – Teens’ Masterclass – Christmas Screen Printing

21 December – The Isle Gallery – The Snow Queen – Classic Art and Literature (10am)

21 December – The Isle Gallery – Children’s Winter Art Camp (2pm)

9 January – 24 February – Bob Hitchin’s Digi-rama at the Erin Arts Centre

20 January – 19 February – Ruth Blindell and Laura Espinosa at The Sayle Gallery

Here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media. I’ve reverted to the thumbnail pictures which you can click on the view in the gallery as that seems to be the more popular choice.

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

Please note that I’m taking next weekend off so there will be no news next Monday. Have a wonderful Christmas! 

Jane x

Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter@manxart or Instagram @manxartdirectory or Pinterest. 

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Isle of Man Art News – 10 October 2016


If there’s one thing for certain on our little Island it’s that we have an amazing variety of wonderfully talented Artists. Last weekend we had the opening of Bruno Cavellec’s solo show ‘Lifted’ at The Isle Gallery and this week saw the opening of  ‘Elemental’ at the Hodgson Loom Gallery above Laxey Woollen Mills. Very different styles for sure but it’s the quality of all the Artists currently showing that I think is quite remarkable. I talked about Bruno’s show in the news last week and Manx Radio has very kindly sent me an edited version of his radio interview which I have added to his Artist page on  the Directory and have also included HERE if you would like to listen to it, so this week I’d like to tell you about ‘Elemental’….

I was very excited on Monday evening to receive an invitation from Julia Ashby Smyth to a ‘pre-Preview ‘on Thursday evening before the Preview itself on Friday. She tried to lure me in with the promise of cakes, tea and a naked torso or two and whilst my ears did prick up at the prospect of a naked torso, I didn’t really need any encouragement at all and was delighted to take up her offer. When I arrived shortly before 6pm, a lot of the show was hung or otherwise in place but there was still a fair amount to get done. There are three Artists’ work making up the Exhibition, Julia’s work, Neil Milsom and Liz Cowin. Julia is a fabulous curator and has a real talent for knowing which Artists’ work goes well together as evidenced by other shows I’ve seen at the gallery this year. Her ethereal works, mostly in pencil, of mythicial folk and creatures, contrast yet compliment Neil’s stone sculptures, honed and polished, some with runic symbols and others with gilding. Liz Cowin’s large scale pictures add an element of colour and pageantry which is also reflected in her beautifully crafted crown and cuff. There’s a wonderful essence of something ancient and powerful emanating from these works. Perhaps it appeals to me particularly from my love of reading fantasy as a young adult, but even if it’s not your cup of tea it’s still well worth going to see simply to appreciate the skill and craft of these three Artists.

These pictures are best viewed in the Lightbox – click on any image to view.

I recorded a bit of conversation on my phone with Julia to send to Manx Radio as I was on the show to do my monthly Art round-up on Friday with Colleen Corlett. I don’t know how to edit these things yet and my skills as a radio presenter need a fair bit of work, but you can listen to the clip HERE. Apologies for the first 15-20 seconds which are crackly and didn’t work and the comment at the end about hoping it worked! It’s about 6 minutes in all but interesting to hear a bit of the story behind a couple of the pictures on show. ‘Elemental’ is open Monday – Saturday, 9am to 5pm and the show runs until 5 November.

minilogoMoving onto Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of being on the wireless with Colleen and the Women Today ladies. Colleen’s solo show ‘Answering the Need to Create’ at The Sayle Gallery also promises to be something special and it encompasses a broad range of mediums – everything from embroidery to pastels and watercolours to sand blasted glass with lots of other goodies in between. Colleen is very modest about her work – it was only that I had coffee with her a couple of weeks ago that I knew about the two illuminated pieces of work that have been presented to the Queen, otherwise I doubt she would have mentioned it. Many people will know Colleen’s work without even realising it as she worked for the Post Office for 15 years and designed many of our stamps. She says that the nice thing about our stamps is that the Artist is allowed to have their name on them which doesn’t happen in many other places, including the UK and – just name-dropping again for emphasis, the Queen has to review and approve all of the stamp designs before they can be used, so she must be pretty familiar with Colleen’s work. If it’s good enough for the Queen then I’m pretty sure it’s pretty good 🙂

Colleen’s show opens at The Sayle Galley on Friday 14th October with the Preview on the evening of Thursday 13th.

minilogoSally Black’s exhibition at Noa Bakehouse also opens this week. I don’t know much about this one but I do know Sally’s work so I’m looking forward to going along to the Preview on Wednesday. If it is as I expect it will certainly be worth having a ‘waddle’ along to take a look – you can even have a coffee while you appreciate the Artwork and you never know, you might even get to start your Christmas shopping early.

minilogoThis is slightly ‘left field’ for the Directory but I couldn’t resist some further bragging about what amazingly creative and artistic folk this Island turns out. Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, the owners and designers behind international fashion brand ‘Preen’ grew up and were educated on the Island. There was a good article in the Guardian recently which a few Artists who know them picked up on and I’ve included a link to it HERE. They were in the press again recently when the Duchess of Cambridge wore one of their dresses to a reception in Government House in Victoria, British Columbia.

minilogoThere’s a lovely new Artist page on the Directory: Andrew MacKellar. Andy’s work is vibrant and emotive and I’m delighted to be able to show you his work. Here is a sample for you.

minilogoI do like a good photo and it was great to see that Cian Quayle has been wielding his camera recently. Cian had an exhibition earlier this year at The Sayle Gallery, ‘Points of Departure’, which spanned a thirty year period. The exhibition investigated ideas of ‘place’ and what lies between ‘home’ and elsewhere. Cian was born and raised on the Isle of Man and studied the Foundation course at the Isle of Man College. He went on to study painting and printmaking at Bradford College, then gained an MA in Fine Art at Winchester School of Art and finally a PhD from Camberwell College of Arts (University of Arts London).

minilogoClaire Pearse from Element.isle posted up a very good idea on FB this week, saying that this year she would like to buy as many Christmas gifts as she can from Facebook friends who own small businesses whether it be handbags, jewellery, candles, pampering products, clothes, handmade crafts, books or art. As she says, we should buy from those we know! The idea is that you post ONE link to your business in the comments section (ie your Facebook page, Etsy shop etc.) then copy and paste the post as your status so that the original person posting can comment on your post. That way any friends can look through the links for their Christmas shopping and in so doing support local families directly.

To take this a step further, and because FB threads easily and quickly get lost, I’ve decided to create a Christmas page for ANY local craft or small business (such as those mentioned above) to have a link to their shop page. It will look a lot like the main Artist Directory page but when you click on the picture the hyperlink will take you directly to the relevant store or FB page, so even if you don’t have an online store you can still advertise your business.

All you need to do is send one image of less than 100kb in size to represent your business and the URL of your shop page. The cost is free to Premium Members of the Directory, £5.00 for Artists with listings and £10 to all other businesses and we will all benefit from the advertising. The Christmas shop page will be available until the end of December.

minilogoDates for your  Diary:

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

On now to 30 October – Bruno Cavellec – Solo show ‘Lifted’ at The Isle Gallery

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

13 October – 2 November – Sally Black at Noa Bakehouse

13 October – 20 November – Colleen Corlett “Answering the Need to Create” at the Sayle Gallery

14 October – 28 October – Svetlana Cameron – Solo Exhibition – 37 Kensington High Street, London

20 October – Creative Industries Public Meeting No. 6 at Noa Bakehouse, 6pm

25 October – Make your own Breakfast Bowl and Spoon – The Isle Gallery, 10am

25 October – Ceramic Hands Family Art Workshop – The Isle Gallery, 2pm

26 October – The Book of Life Art Workshop- The Isle Gallery – 10am

26 October – Teens & Tweens Art Masterclass, Collage Landscape – The Isle Gallery – 6pm

minilogoFinally, here is my usual round up of images found on social media this week. Enjoy.

minilogoPlease Share these updates with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists.

Have a great week!


Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter@manxart or Instagram @manxartdirectory or Pinterest. 

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Isle of Man Art News – 3 October 2016


Well it was nigh on a miracle that I made it to Bruno Cavellec’s preview this afternoon (Sunday). I’ve been looking forward to it for months with huge anticipation but there was the small matter of my 50th birthday on Saturday. I didn’t have any big plans for the day and my husband said he had booked a table for us a Jean-Pierre’s in Ramsey, so I was looking forward to a nice meal then home early and curling up in bed and watching a film. Martin though, unbeknownst to me, had arranged for all of the family to be there as well so it was a huge surprise and turned out to be a really wonderful evening. I was thoroughly spoilt by everyone and received masses of good wishes, flowers and pressies, so thank you all for your cards and messages. I know I’m a lightweight these days when it comes to drinking but I thought I had been pretty restrained – two glasses of wine and a glass of champagne you wouldn’t think was excessive would you? Come one o’clock this afternoon, however, I was still feeling ‘rather poorly’.

After walking the dog around Ramsey for a good hour or more (until she gave me the ‘Really mum, are we going home now’ look) I finally felt up to tidying myself up and driving to St. John’s. When I arrived the preview was in full swing with live music, throngs of people, a fabulous selection of cakes and a wonderful vibe. Bruno’s pictures, as expected, were indeed ‘absolument magnifique’. The four main themes for his show ‘LIFTED’ are the sea, women, freedom and music and include oils on canvas, digital and dry point work. It was good to see that the majority of pieces were sold by the time I arrived but fortunately many of them are available as limited edition prints.

I haven’t seen Bruno in ages as he’s been tucked away in his studio producing his work for the show but he did emerge last week when he was on Manx Radio’s ‘Women Today’ programme with Christy DeHaven. I thought it was an extremely good show as it covered Bruno’s early years including his relationship with his parents and his years in the forces, then moved onto an interview in his studio, a hallowed place that no one is allowed to go into unless invited – including his wife Jill – and then moved onto another chat with Bruno in person about the show. You can still hear it again for a few days by checking out the ‘Women Today’ page – it’s well worth a listen.

I had a chat to Jill and asked her which pictures she liked best; like me there was more than one but she actually said she hadn’t had a chance to have a proper look at some of them yet, only having seen them a few hours before the opening of the show and bringing a few last pieces with her on the way! It’s clear that she has huge respect for her husband’s work and, going back to the Manx Radio interview, Bruno says that it was Jill that gave him the opportunity to practice his art and the space to do it, so thank you Jill as your vision has given the Island one of its best Artists.

The show is on now at The Isle Gallery until 30th October and as we are now in the last quarter of the year I think I can safely say ‘Christmas’ without receiving too much abuse, so do go along and pick up some prints as Christmas gifts – they are a great idea especially if you are looking for a lightweight, local present that is easy to post.

minilogoAlice Quayle has a mini/micro-exhibition in the Sayle Gallery little window up until Sunday 9th October. It’s some ideas for beautifying Douglas in the form of ‘before and after’ photoshopped photos, mostly involving paint, flags and signage to try and make the town look a bit better, work a little better and help visitors find their way around. Alice is hoping with a few fresh faces after the election it might be a good time for a few new suggestions and if anyone wants to do their own ideas for lovely-fying Douglas all you need to do is tag ‘Alice’s Illustrations’ on Facebook or the Sayle Gallery – they are very welcome – and the ideas can then be shared. Here is a link to the album with some ideas on and Alice says she is sure people could come up with other ideas, so don’t be shy and please do get in touch: Alice’s Illustrations.

minilogoTo mark the ending of the moving exhibition, ‘Simon Buttimore – A Man Apart’, the Sayle Gallery is inviting his fellow artists and friends to an informal gathering at the gallery on Saturday 8th October, 6.00pm to 10.00pm. You’re invited along for a glass of wine, impromptu live music and a celebratory vibe.

minilogoSome of you will know Janet Lees, a lady best known for her literary endeavours, but she can also take a pretty good photo don’t you think? I love these and thought you might do too…. As with all the images in these posts you can click them to view in the Lightbox.

minilogoSvetlana Cameron posted up another two recently finished pictures, the first of “Sara Hackman, Mayor of Douglas 2015-16”, 60×50 cm, conte and pastel on paper. Started in spring during Sara’s time in office, this portrait got delayed due to various circumstances, and was finally completed this month. It will be on display in London as part of the upcoming solo exhibition. She also finished “Emilia”, 45×35 cm, conte on paper. Commissioned by the family of a Russian diplomat working in London Svetlana says she believes this portrait will do some travelling around the world before eventually moving to its permanent home in Russia.

minilogoThere are lots of exhibition openings and events coming up. In particular do go along to ‘Elemental’ at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey this week, Friday 7th from 6.00pm. It promises to be a good one and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Julia Ashby-Smyth’s work. Neil Milson also produces some lovely pieces of tactile work and is fascinated by pre-history. I’m not familiar yet with Elizabeth Cowin’s work but there is a sneak peek in the images below.

Also opening soon (13 October) is Colleen Corlett’s exhibition at the Sayle Gallery. Colleen will be on Manx Radio on Friday afternoon from 2.00pm on the ‘Women Today’ programme with me. An extraordinarily talented lady across lots of different mediums the exhibition will showcase her many skills and will include information leaflets about how she produces her work. Colleen worked for the Post Office for about 15 years and her stamp designs have travelled the world. It should be a great programme so put a reminder in your diary to tune in.

Sally Black’s exhibition at Noa also opens on 13 October – I’ll give you an  update on that one very soon.

minilogoDates for your  Diary:

On now to  9 October – ‘A Man Apart’ The Life and Work of Simon Buttimore at The Sayle Gallery

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

On now to 30 October – Bruno Cavellec – Solo show ‘Lifted’ at The Isle Gallery

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

7 October – Me and Colleen Corlett on Manx Radio’s Women Today Programme 2.00pm

7 October –  Paul Parker at the Braaid Hall – Watercolour Painting (5 days on light and tone over 5 weeks)

7 October – Elemental Preview at the Hodgson Loom Gallery 6.00pm – 8.30pm – all welcome.

8 October – ‘A Celebration of Simon’ (Buttimore) at the Sayle Gallery – 6.00pm -10.00pm

13 October – 2 November – Sally Black at Noa Bakehouse

13 October – 20 November – Colleen Corlett “Answering the Need to Create” at the Sayle Gallery

14 October – 28 October – Svetlana Cameron – Solo Exhibition – 37 Kensington High Street, London

minilogoAnd finally, here is my round-up of images chosen from social media this week – enjoy!

minilogoPlease Share these updates with your friends and colleagues on FB and Linkedin to help raise awareness of our very talented local Artists.

Have a great week!


Keep up-to-date by ‘Liking’ the Facebook Page or by ‘Following’ me on Linkedin or Twitter@manxart or Instagram @manxartdirectory or Pinterest.