Isle of Man Art College students ‘Articulate’ their inspirations from Arts Council Loan Collection

– Posted on Monday 31st August 2015

Five Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education art students are showcasing their work in an exhibition entitled ‘Articulate’, at the Manx Museum in Douglas. The project was initiated by the Department of Education and Children in collaboration with Manx National Heritage and the Isle of Man Arts Council.

The artists are displaying their own works alongside pieces from the Isle of Man Arts Council Loan Collection that inspired them. The Loan Collection is also presented via a rolling slideshow of digital images.  The exhibition is now open at the Manx Museum until Saturday 3rd October.

Local artist, David Fletcher, who was also head of art at the Isle of Man College as well as a member of the Isle of Man Arts Council, initiated the ‘Loan Collection’ in 1993.  The works in the collection, which consists of over 300 prints, paintings and photographs, are loaned out to primary and secondary schools, the College, libraries, the Prison, Noble’s Hospital and other Public Buildings.

Artists in the ‘Loan Collection’ include Picasso, Graham Sutherland, Elizabeth Frink, Henry Moore, David Hockney and Damian Hirst as well as a developing range of contemporary art that has been created by local artists on the Isle of Man.

The five students who are exhibiting have taken inspiration from a number of Manx artists as well as artists from further afield. Kirsten Penzes is exhibiting two pieces –  ‘Foreign Objects’, inspired by Damian Hirst, is based on her own collection of sea porcelain, while her wire sculpture, ‘Flow’, is themed around dance and reflects works by David Fletcher. Helen Tate’s installation of suspended stones is inspired by her love of nature and a piece by artist Kate Shakespeare entitled ‘Upside Down’. Helen and Kate have swapped sides of the North Sea, Helen being Swedish and now living on the Isle of Man and Kate having made Sweden her home.

Two of the students were influenced by internationally renowned, Manx born photographer, Chris Killip.  Ruth Gale traced a number of the local community characters featured in Killip’s original 1970s book – ‘The Isle of Man, A Book About The Manx’, while Bryan Moore uses some of Killip’s landscape images, together with some of his own, as a backdrop for his digitally created mechanical figures.

Lawrence Gale’s submissions are his own sculpture of the Loaghtan Sheep, inspired by Jasper Inskip’s Loaghtan Sheep paintings and a three dimensional drawing based on Paul Ford’s graphic works, ‘Chasm and Enclosure’.

Carola Rush, College Tutor and co-curator of the project, commented:

“To learn about the planning and installing of an exhibition hosted by an organisation such as Manx National Heritage and to get the opportunity to work alongside professional curatorial and technical staff, is invaluable experience for the students. The project has taught things which mean more in practice than they ever could in theory and I hope what they have learned will serve them well in their future artistic careers.”

Student Kirsten Penzes commented:

“I feel very privileged to be a part of this collaboration between the College, the Arts Council and Manx National Heritage. Seeing behind the scenes of the making of an exhibition has been an incredible experience. It has given me the opportunities to explore possibilities in the arts after I graduate and I hope that this is the beginning of future collaborations.”

The Manx Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and entry is free.

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