Manx residents will have the last chance to view the ‘Celtic Style’ exhibition at the House of Manannan, sponsored by Lloyds Bank, which closes at the weekend.
Manx National Heritage’s exhibition, which has run since April 2014, commemorates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Archibald Knox, the internationally renowned Manx artist and designer for Liberty & Co. The exhibition, which was part of the Isle of Man’s ‘Year of Culture’ will close on Sunday 8th February at 5pm.
The exhibition showcases 2,000 years of Celtic Style beginning with the ‘Mayer mirror’, through to the art of the carved Manx crosses and onto the designs that they influenced by Archibald Knox and his Scottish and Irish contemporaries in the early 1900s. Knox was a leading exponent of the ‘British Celtic Revival’ design style and his metalwork designs for Liberty & Co. with their distinctive interlace patterns, are seen as iconic examples of early 20th century design.
Less well-known outside of the Isle of Man are his graphic designs and illuminated manuscripts which he produced using the same intricate interlace. The roots to Knox’s designs can be found in his fascination with the carved Norse and Celtic stone crosses that had surrounded him from childhood on the Isle of Man.
‘The Mayer Mirror’, a Celtic bronze mirror which is over 2000 years old, is on loan from the World Museum, National Museum Liverpool and will be returning next week. The mirror is thought to have been found in the River Thames, close to Barnes in south-west London. It is finely decorated with an overall pattern of three circles, with each circle containing a pattern made up again of three distinct circles and curving shapes. The flowing and fluid design on the Mayer mirror will be reminiscent to a Manx audience of circular and curving ‘triskelles’ (three-legged) patterns similar to those based on the Manx three legged triskelle and found on the Manx flag and sword of state.
As part of the final weekend celebrations, Chloe Woolley, the Manx Music specialist at Culture Vannin, will be running a talk at the House of Manannan on Saturday 7th February. The talk will focus on the Celtic influences in Manx music and will be accompanied by the Manx Music Group Bree, the educational and social group for young musicians interested in Manx traditional culture. The event is free to attend and will start at 2.30pm on Saturday.
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