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A Fresh New Look at the Nation's Art 31 January 2006

    Manx National Heritage is pleased to announce that the new look National Art Gallery at the Manx Museum, Douglas, was officially opened by internationally renowned Manx artist Bryan Kneale RA on Friday 27th January 2006. Bryan Kneale

    Over one hundred guests attended the launch of the newly displayed gallery which presents artworks from the National collections. All of the works are by Manx artists or of Manx subjects and include traditional oil paintings, watercolours, sculptures and digital photography. Contemporary Manx artists are well represented by Bryan Kneale, Michael Sandle, Paul Ford, Ralph Courtie and Cian Quayle, while earlier artists include John Miller Nicholson, Archibald Knox and John H. Nicholson.

    Bryan Kneale said:

    “I am delighted to have been invited to open this new exhibition of Manx art, especially since I have recently completed a limited edition sculpture of The Legs of Man, crafted in silver and exclusively for sale by Manx National Heritage with all proceeds going toward the future development of the art collection. “

    Visitors to the Gallery will find examples of a wide variety of Manx art, divided into a number of themes including landscapes, portraits, Manx towns and the Island at war. The use of broad themes allows artwork from several periods to be hung together. This shows the different ways that artists have approached similar subject matter, with contemporary work sharing wall space with more traditional pieces. All capture a common sense of Manxness.

    Yvonne Cresswell, curator of social history for Manx National Heritage, who has co-ordinated the exhibition said:

    “Traditionally the National Manx art collection has been displayed according to a mixture of chronology (the date of a work) and by artist and location. The new themed exhibition provides an exciting opportunity to show similar views treated in different ways by both contemporary and past artists all of whom have responded to the Island’s landscape and culture. William Hoggatt and John E. Aitken made the Island both their home and the subject of much of their artwork, of which visitors can see examples in the new exhibition.

    For other artists, the Island was only a temporary home during wartime and the little they saw was through barbed wire from the civilian internment camps. The new art gallery display provides the first opportunity for artwork from Manx National Heritage’s growing internment collections to be seen alongside other works in the national collection.”

    Detailed information about a selection of the artworks is now available for visitors to the National Art Gallery, in the form of colourful fact sheets which explore the paintings in greater detail and provide key biographical information about the artists.

    The Manx Museum is part of the award-winning Story of Mann and is open to the public from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Admission is free.

    31st January 2006

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