'Home is Where the Art is' is a project by the Isle of Man Arts Council which aims to inspire the Manx public whilst supporting and celebrating creative in isolation on and from the Isle of Man. Stay tuned everyday of May to see a number of fantastic videos from creatives as part of our Home is Where The Art Is project.
We will be adding videos each day in summary of Week Three! Kicking us off is week is Alice Dudley!
Alice Dudley sings and draws Ushag Veg Ruy.
Alice Dudley is a second year Fine Art student at Falmouth University, and a singer/songwriter. Though not the primary focus of her practice, Alice has found herself unexpectedly drawing on Manx Culture often in her recent work.
“My mum used to sing this song to me when I was a child, to help me sleep. When I first moved away from home, I was incredibly homesick and began revisiting childhood memories like this one for the first time in years. It was at this point that I recorded myself singing the song for a university project. Now a year on and living at home again during the lockdown, I find myself feeling nostalgic once more. Having recently started experimenting with hand-drawn animation, I decided to create an animation to play alongside the song.”
Growing up on an island has made Alice fiercely protective of her home and its customs, and says that leaving makes you realise just how unique it truly is. A lot of Alice’s recent work has been an exploration of her homesickness, and part of this means clinging fervently to the parts of our culture that she remembers most fondly.
Local bandsman, James Craig creates brilliant music video with fellow musicians in lockdown.
James Craig is a local part time muso and plays in various bands live around the Island including Pigs on The Wing, Ok Computer, In The Blood, and Caution Runners.
"The Inspiration. To involve as many musicians as possible that have the capacity to record at home in a music writing project. The idea was to write, record and produce an original song and produce a video. It was aimed at people who were not working and in lockdown and were interested in the project. The idea was to have something creative to work at during this difficult situation. Since the release of the project more musicians are getting involved and helping to create more original music in lock down.
I created an original demo and sent it to every one that wanted to get involved. The individual parts were then recorded and sent online to me and put together, it was then sent to be mixed by Mark Cleator. The video of was then created at my home studio Albert Road Studio."
Original music is always the driving force throughout James’ work and his home studio Albert Road Studio has been the foundation for this.
Musicians involved in the video project: Steve Leech DRUMS, Paul Kinrade BASS, Ian Manton VOCALS, Kieron Ball VOCALS, Thomas Cox LEAD VOCALS, Ian Astill BRASS, Mark Cleator MIXING, James Craig GUITAR KEYS VOCALS.
Dance Student, Rebecca Cooil shows us her moves from the garden.
Rebecca Cooil is 13 years old and has been dancing at Gena’s Dance Academy since she was 6 years old.
“My inspiration for this dance was my Auntie Leonie, who sadly died in October 2018 after loosing her battle to cancer. I took a picture of a single star and immediately thought of her as I believe when you die you become a shining star in heaven looking down on the world. This song also has a special place in my heart as, when you really listen to the lyrics they are talking about losing someone very close to you just like my auntie was to me. She was my inspiration because she was so strong throughout her illness which has made me stronger, like the words in the song say.”
Rebecca tells us she loves to dance because she can express all of her feelings in two minutes and show all of her emotions as well. For Rebecca, this has been a great thing to do whilst in lockdown as it has been a great de-stressing tool whilst she has been inside a lot and not feeling her usual self!
Ruby writes song about mental health during lockdown.
We have a very important and beautiful video to share with you for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek 2020.
Ruby Biscoe-Taylor is the singer-songwriter and front person of local band Biskee Brisht. Biskee Brisht is an indie-folk band playing original songs in both English and Manx Gaelic.
“I often suffer with poor mental health leading to depression and anxiety and when it’s at its worst, agoraphobia. This has led my experience of lockdown to be a very conflicted one. I’m actually used to staying in my house for long periods of time, afraid to go outside, whereas now we’ve had a real reason to be afraid. I live with my husband and he has been classed as vulnerable to the virus so has been told to stay at home by his doctor, leaving household tasks like grocery shopping or post office runs down to me. It’s been a real role reversal as he would usually be the one to take care of these tasks when I’m stuck inside. The first month or so of lockdown I found very difficult. Going outside lead to panic attacks so I restricted it to once a week for shopping essentials. The beautiful weather felt like a taunt and I had no energy or drive for anything I enjoyed - especially music and creative endeavours. Then last week when I went outside I was suddenly hit with the strong sweet smell of the gorse on the hills near my house and it was such an overwhelming warm feeling that it brought me to tears. I felt supported by the island around me and so lucky to live somewhere that literally smells beautiful just naturally. It felt like a huge shift in perspective where I began to feel hopeful again and I had the urge to write a song that I hoped others would identify with, especially living in such a special place as the Isle of Man.”
Ruby mostly writes about love and loss but as she’s got older, she’s started to write a lot about mental health and her own struggles with depression and anxiety. Biskee Brisht have released four singles, available to stream and download, and their debut album is out this summer.
Joshua Brown plays rare pieces of Manx Folk music on the saxophone.
Joshua is a saxophone student and has been playing music for nearly ten years. He has just finished his (cancelled) A Levels and received a scholarship to study saxophone at Guildhall School of Music in London in September. For nearly four years, Joshua has been refining his skills with John Harle in Cantebury.
“My project is an exciting take on traditional Manx music. I’ve always loved folk music yet playing the saxophone I’ve never really fallen into playing any. Recently, I got in touch with Dr Breesha Maddrell and Dr Chloë Woolley from Culture Vannin and are involved in Manx folk music as I wanted a dramatic and exciting piece of folk music but didn’t really know where or what to look at. They managed to help me find a lost and forgotten showstopper piece which had only been performed a few times in the early 1960s.
This piece is a fantasy made up of traditional folk tunes. During my project I enjoyed learning about the history of the work which is very important. In my video I not only perform the piece but also explain its interesting history.”
Joshua says he enjoys taking part in local music events and concerts and feels he is lucky enough to have gained support to allow him to further develop his potential. Joshua hopes to go into a career with his saxophone and is excited for everything to come!
Jackie Morrey-Grace shows us how to get creative with poetry.
Jackie Morrey-Grace is a performance poet, copywriter at J D Grace Notes and a trombonist. Jackie began creative writing in 2013 when incapacitated with a form of Rheumatoid Arthritis and has literally never stopped!
“My video project is inspired by the weekly challenges I have been setting on my Facebook poetry page, J Morrey Grace Poetry, throughout the lockdown. These really began because although my youngest (Maeve), adores the visual arts, she has demonstrated less interest in the written word, and I was concerned about how to keep her actively interested in learning whilst in lockdown.
The challenges have been brilliant and are now the absolute highlight of our week. They’ve also forced me to think outside the box to find easy methods of introducing poetry with an appealing ‘craft’ or visual element – so some of these methods, like book title poetry, I’d never tried before!
Friends, family and members of the public have also shared their attempts with us via social media, which has generated our own little lockdown poetry community.
It was great to hear about the ‘Home is Where the Art is’ project. Maeve should have been on her year 6 school trip this week and, as she absolutely loves making videos, we’ve worked on this instead. It’s taken us over two days and has been the best fun we’ve had all lockdown!”
Jackie writes every day, has completed two novels, has written and recorded over 2.5hours of poetry and performed as both a musician and poet at lots of events and festival both at home and away. In 2017, Jackie was lucky enough to be crowned Manx Litfest Poetry Slam Champion and three of her top favourite things are writing, hiking and passion sharing.
Gracie Kitchin writes a poem as tribute to key workers.
“My poem idea originally came from the tragic pandemic that is taking place right now. It really touched me and it was a really sad time at that moment when I sat down and wrote it. I have been diagnosed with OCD which is why I had to wrote my thoughts down on paper.
Gracie tells us that she really enjoys creating stories and loves writing poems.