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Isle of Man Art News – 20 February 2017


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


Thursday night saw the Creative Network’s social evening at The Sayle Gallery and there was a good turnout to hear about the plans for the Isle of Man Art Festival to be held again over the early May bank holiday weekend, 29th April to 1st May. I was greeted with ‘Ah – the ubiquitous Jane Hall’ which made me laugh. I’ve never been described as ‘ubiquitous’ before.

Planning for the Festival is well underway with a number of changes this year including fewer venues in Peel but some new ones, including a couple in the north of the island and another at the Airport. If you haven’t already been in touch with any of the committee about participating please get in touch with Myra Gilbert or Rosie Glassey as soon as possible.


I’m really delighted that Rob Jones now has some of his fabulous sculptural pieces installed at Milntown Gardens, Ramsey. Rob had a really successful exhibition at The Sayle Gallery last year and in the survey I did recently it came out as being one of the best received shows of 2016. Rob says in his Facebook post that it’s been hard work but he’s happy with the results and he thanked Adam Quayle (head gardener) without whose creativity and foresight he said it wouldn’t have happened and he also extended his thanks to Juan Quane and Liam Faragher, Vicky Crellin aand Paul Ogden. His thanks went out as well to the Arts Council who have supported Rob and “recognised the importance of bringing art to the public”.

Rob later added some technical information on the plinths saying that they’re not quite as simple as they look; the base is solid but the top is hollow, lowering the centre of gravity and they weigh around a quarter of a tonne each. They were made by Greg Wright of BPD Jurby and Rob says he did “a grand job on short notice”and that “it’s been a pleasure to work with him”.

Great job all – they look fantastic. These lovely photos have been taken by Simon Park (his details can be found in the Directory section too).



Ice sculptor, Darren Jackson, has been competing in the north of Finland, six hours away from Helsinki, against 11 other teams in the 2017 World Ice Carving Championships. Darren and his team mate, Neil Smith from London, submitted their design for this year’s theme ‘Togetherness’ which ties in with Finland’s celebrations of Independence being held throughout 2017.

Darren and Neil’s creation was around a brown bear which is the national symbol of Finland. Working in temperatures of minus 10 degrees to create the piece it stands at over four meters tall. It’s been constructed from around 30 blocks of ice, each one measuring 50cm by 50cm by 1m – which works out at about 7 tonnes of ice.

Unfortunately they didn’t win the competition, being ‘pipped at the post’ for the sculptor’s choice, but it’s still a pretty amazing piece I’m sure you’ll agree. Darren posted up photographs of the other entries and no doubt you’ll be interested to see them, so here are a few of the photos – click to enlarge and scroll through. The winner was the first picture in the gallery.


I don’t normally comment on political issues, but it looks like Ramsey Courthouse is again a hot topic and is likely to be sold on the open market. I think the old Courthouse would make a fantastic venue for the arts – be it a permanent gallery, art education, mixed use to include performing arts, etc.. Rather than let this building, which is the heart of the town, become another coffee shop or restaurant, I think we should have a bit of diversity and use the building to provide a venue for those in the North of the Island. You can have your say by completing a short survey here:


Phil Kneen posted up a tantalising snippet from his Calais article this week which is too good not to share: 

‘Christmas Day, 2015 – I’m sitting, cross-legged, in a three-metre square plywood cabin; around me, huddled in a circle, are eight other men, all from Kuwait. The only light comes from a single, inadequate window to my left. A thick, dirty, brown and blue patterned curtain in the doorway blocks any remaining light from the grim outside world. I share with them the beer and wine that I’ve brought; they share their duty-free herbs with me. Everyone in this room is here out of choice; the only difference between us is that I can leave The Jungle at any time, night or day, and go home. These eight Kuwaitis, and about six thousand other people who call this squalid shantytown on the outskirts of Calais home, don’t have that option. Most of the people here are navigating a journey that cannot be reversed…’

“That’s the first paragraph of a two thousand word piece I submitted to The Telegraph just before Christmas last year; I heard back from them to say it was an ‘outstanding piece’, but they never published it.”

Let’s hope he finds an international publisher for it soon as I for one am itching to read the whole thing.


The forthcoming exhibition at the Sayle Gallery in Douglas, “Turning Point”, marks an important stage in the Gallery’s development. It will not only bring in the work of significant artists from the contemporary art world beyond our Island shores but it will also mark a turning point for the gallery as it embarks on new directions and journeys.

The exhibition showcases the work of five artists with international recognition, including Turner Prize winner, Mark Wallinger. This will be the first time a Turner Prize winner has shown work on the Isle of Man. The exhibition brings together works which question what it is to live on an Island; issues of home; rites of passage; isolation; aspiration; boundaries … It explores different relationships that we have with the sea, coastline and Island Culture. Besides Mark Wallinger: Manxman and artist, Kevin Atherton; Keith McIntyre, Head of Art at the University of Northumbria; Susan Collins, Professor of Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and artist Shona Illingworth have contributed artwork to the show.

Helen Fox, Programme Manager for Art, Design and Media at the University College, Isle of Man, in collaboration with the Sayle Gallery has curated the show as part of her research project which looks at what kind of frameworks we need for the visibility of contemporary art practice in an Island context; and questions how artists are affected by the communities they make work in and how that community responds to that work. Sincere thanks go to local companies, T H Colebourn, Osborn Carpets and Typhoon House, for their valued support and also to the Department of Education and Children and Isle of Man Arts Council who have made staging this exhibition possible.
There will be a Panel Discussion held on Saturday 25th February 1 – 4 pm in the gallery, where artists, students, educators and the general public are invited to join Keith McIntyre, Kevin Atherton and Helen Fox in a discussion: ‘Contemporary Art Practice and What it Means in an Island Context’.


The Arts Council is looking for an Artist in Residence to create a piece of Artwork for the new Henry Bloom Noble primary school. 



Jeremy Paul attracted quite a crowd for his latest presentation to the Isle of Man Photographic Society at Thie Ellyn, with enthusiasts queuing outside an hour before the start time. I think they’d better book a bigger venue next time! The evening consisted of two presentations, the first covering his visit to Yellowstone National Park in 2015 and the second, his trip to Costa Rica in February 2016. He uses his photographs as references for his fabulous paintings. Here are a couple of his pictures inspired by his travels – the wolves from Yellowstone and the Kingfisher from Costa Rica. 

I don’t think anyone will be queuing up to see my holiday snaps anytime soon.


Dates for your Diary


On now – Western Photographic Society Exhibition at the Manx Museum

On now – 24 February – Bob Hitchin’s Digi-rama at the Erin Arts Centre

On now – Hodgson Loom Photographic Exhibition

On now – Manx Landscapes and Seascapes at The Isle Gallery (Group Show)

20 – 24 February – Half Term – a variety of Workshops at The Isle Gallery

21 February – Draw Folks, Fairies & Themselves with Juan Moore at the Manx Museum (ages 8 -16 years)

23 February – Draw Victorious Vikings in Valhalla with Juan Moore at the House of Manannan (ages 8 -16 years) 

23 February – Me, Beth Espey and Christy DeHaven on Women Today, Manx Radio at 2pm.

24 February – 10 March – Turning Point at The Sayle Gallery

25 February – 1pm-4pm Panel Discussion at The Sayle (see details above)

28 February – Cut off point for Creative Network Website update


Here’s this week’s round up of images from Social Media. Enjoy.



Have a great week!

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. To get in touch please

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Isle of Man Art News – 14 November 2016


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


My dad used to say, ‘always make sure you look presentable because you never know who you might bump into’ and this week his words of wisdom were much appreciated when I was trying to decide what to wear and decided to go the extra mile and opted for ‘smart’ rather than ‘smart casual’. My husband’s grandfather, Hector Duff, had invited me to the Joint Ex Servicemen’s Association luncheon at the Empress. He just said ‘Would you be able to come?’ and I said ‘Yes of course, I’d be delighted’. That’s pretty much all I knew about it except that Colleen Corlett and her husband David had also been invited, so I hope you can imagine my surprise to find myself on the top table with, amongst others, Colleen, David, Hector, the Mayor and Mayoress of Douglas and sat next to the former Lieutenant Governor, Major General Sir Laurence New! I was very surprised and felt very honoured indeed to be in such company. It was a very enjoyable occasion and I was greatly impressed to discover that Sir Laurence has his own website and is very ‘techno-savvy’. Of course the first thing I did when I got home was to look it up and I have to say it really is a remarkable and fascinating site, very comprehensive and with some great photographs on it. The website is “A Pictorial History of the 4th and 7th Royal Tank Regiments” and can be found at

For those who might not know, this year is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme which took place between 1st July and 18th November 1916. More than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in history. As it was Remembrance Sunday yesterday, I thought it very appropriate to use one of Paul Parker’s new pictures of the War Memorial on Douglas Promenade as the featured image this week, just one of his new works which will be at The Sayle Gallery from 25th November.


With the greatest respect for all those who have given their lives in battle; we will remember them. 


minilogoI popped into the Isle Gallery at Tynwald Mills on Saturday to have quick look at the new exhibition “Myths and Morphons” which features Artists Colette Gambell, Anna Clucas (who has a beautiful new baby boy, Vinnie – Congratulations Anna!), Julie Roberts and Simon Park. There are some very nice pieces but it’s easy to get distracted by Simon’s large photographic works which are really engaging. I’m not sure where I would have the space for one and I kind of think you would need two or three to really make it work as it’s very much a ‘collection’ – but that’s just my personal opinion – and they are lovely if you have the right space for them. There’s every good reason to head to Tynwald Mills at this time of year so don’t forget to call in while you are there for a look and to say hello to the ArtReach ladies.

The other reason I called into The Isle Gallery was to pick up Christmas Cards from Nicola Dixon to give to the winner of the Facebook competition, France Gayon, who lives in Paris! Great to see local work heading further afield. Nicola was teaching at the Gallery on Saturday – here is a clip of her in action 🙂



minilogoIf you missed out on Nicola’s Christmas cards I am currently running another give-away on Facebook of Jeremy Paul’s cards. I’ve asked people to put a wild animal or bird in the comments that you’d like to see Jeremy paint (this is so that I know you have entered the competition). Jeremy has replied to lots of the entries already about what he is or isn’t likely to paint so it’s worth a look if only to see what we can hope to see soon!


minilogoWhile I was out and about I collected the Christmas Cards from Jeremy and called into Grenaby Studios (Ballabeg) to see the space now that Claire Pearse (Element.isle) has moved across the yard to the Studio next to Graham Hall. Grenaby is a really lovely location with a great creative vibe about it and well worth a visit – if you haven’t discovered it yet you can see the map of where it is HERE . You’ll be sure of a warm welcome even if you’re just stopping by for a mooch. Claire was telling me that it’s getting busier and busier as more people find out about it and that last Friday was their busiest to date – she was at the Studio until 2am re-stocking for the Saturday!

Graham has been busy too – we were talking about some of his sculptural pieces (which are to die for) and I had the privilege of having a look through his sketch book which holds all kinds of promising gorgeousness. As he says though, they are very time consuming and with demand as it is at present he’s been busy fulfilling orders. Here’s a video of him at work on a recent piece which is still available in the shop at Grenaby (if you’re quick…).



minilogoI’ve had a busy week all in all! On Friday night I went to the Preview of ‘Creature Cornucopia’ at the Hodgson Loom Gallery (Laxey Woollen Mills). This is a joint exhibition of Meriel Burden’s paintings and Erica Kermode’s sculptures, as ever beautifully curated by Julia Smyth. I was very pleased indeed to at last meet Meriel in person. Meriel has a page on the Directory but up until Friday we had only communicated by email! I was also really delighted to see how beautifully her pictures ‘sing’ when viewed in person. As with most non-digitally produced art, the internet does not do it justice. I was not at all surprised to see that 3 of my favourite paintings of hers had been snapped up before I arrived.

Erica Kermode’s sculptures, particularly of the African animals, are also lovely to see ‘in the flesh’. I had a lovely chat with Erica about different types of clay which was very interesting and I am very tempted to have a go at one of her workshops. I feel that I’d probably be better at ‘making’ something that trying to draw or paint something. After my Frida Khalo efforts I know you’ll all be hoping that to be the case! One of these days I might have a go….

Creature Cornucopia is on until 3 December (which is handing in date for the annual competition, this year with the theme of  ‘TIME’).


minilogoDates for your Diary


THE LAST WEEK, UP TO 19 NOVEMBER AT THE MANX MUSEUM ‘Islands and Bridges’ The Art of Roger Dean.  If you haven’t been to see this yet but have been meaning to you’ve only got this week left!

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

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

On now – 20 November – The Alchemists Photography Exhibition at Noa Bakehouse

On now – 27 November – The Isle Gallery : Myths and Morphons 

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

On now to 3 December – Creature Cornucopia Preview at the Hodgson Loom Gallery

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

17 November – Studio 42’s Christmas Show preview 6.30 – 8.30pm

22 November – Creative Network AGM – 7pm – Noa Bakehouse

24 November – Paul Parker’s Exhibition Preview at The Sayle Gallery

26 November – Katy Mitchell’s open Studio at Lower Bishopscourt Farm (with mulled wine…. mmmmmm)

1 December – Artist Networking Event at The Sayle (tbc).


minilogoHere’s this week’s round-up of 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. To get in touch please

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 – 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. To get in touch please email:

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