Seven Manx Towns

Project: Seven Manx Towns
Location: Isle of Man
Commissioner: Isle of Man Government / Arts Council
Cost: £20,000 + VAT

11 Artists: Kate Jerry , Graham Hall , Matt Owen , Darren Jackson , Simon Buttimore ,

Myra Gilbert , Colette Davies , Stephanie Quayle ,

Annie Eastham ,  Simon Capelen , Julie-Anne Denton

Programme: 24 months
Atoll Service: Arts Curator
Project Status: Completed 2013

In 2012 and 2013, as part of an island-wide Towns & Village Regeneration programme, artist Noah Rose in collaboration with Ian Banks were jointly invited to curate a public art commissioning programme for all Isle of Man born, based or otherwise linked artists. Interested artists were asked to develop a 2-stage public art proposal for possible funding as part of the wider island regeneration programme. No funding could be guaranteed, but each projects ultimate realisation was to be determined in Stage 2 presentations to individual Town Commissioners and their local community committees. The strategic arts project was titled Seven Manx Towns and was commissioned by the Isle of Man Government and IoM Arts Council for public spaces in Ramsey, Laxey, Peel, Port Erin & Port St Mary (classed jointly as South West). Other public art plans for Douglas and Castletown were curated separately.


As a direct result of this programme, and now installed outside Ramsey’s RNLI shop, is a sculpture first proposed by local based artist Darren Jackson as part of Seven Manx Towns. Entitled ‘When I Grow Up’ , the small bronze sculpture pays homage to the generations of volunteer service offered-up to the RNLI by local communities island-wide – as well as the sense of ‘family’ for which the institution has long been recognised. The title and subject matter of course is a reference to the many young children who over the years have aspired to follow their parents and other local heroes into the lifeboat service. The sculpture was cast by the Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry in Limehouse, London.

Commissioned by Ramsey Town Commissioners the piece is mounted on a plinth of stone sourced from Poortown quarry,and represents the Commission’s contribution to the town’s regeneration scheme. It was realised after the Chief Minister’s regeneration committee, in association with the Isle of Man Arts Council and their appointed arts consultant Noah Rose and Ian Banks. By Seven Manxs Town’s Call for Artists deadline for both Ramsey and Laxey, over 25 Expressions of Interest had been received, and these incuded  53 project proposals.

At the unveiling of the sculpture on Market Hill in 2013, Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Captain Nigel Malpass said: “This magnificent sculpture not only personifies the beating of heart of Ramsey, its working harbour, but is also a fitting tribute in this, the 190th anniversary of the RNLI and the 185th anniversary of the Ramsey lifeboat station, to the fearless and selfless dedication of the men and women who serve as RNLI volunteers.”

In terms of the wider programme, the full list of 13 Isle of Man born, based or linked artists whose Stage 2 proposals were considered were:

South West (Port Erin & Port St. Mary):

1, Kate Jerry – Port Erin Station: Cast Iron Discs;
2. Graham Hall (with Matt Owen) – Port St. Mary: Gateway sculptures & Seating;
3. Matt Owen (with Graham Hall) – Port Erin: Gateway sculptures & Seating

4. Darren Jackson – RNLI Shop Sculpture When I Grow Up
5. Simon ButtimoreAfter the Rein Video and Installation;
6. Myra Gilbert of Isle of Man Creative NetworkCabinet of Curiosities


7. Colette Davies –  APP Trails, Sound Installation, Projected Images, Painted Gable Ends;
8. Stephanie Quayle – Peel Seal Sculpture;
9. Matt Owen (with Graham Hall) – Derby Road Gateway Sculpture


10. Annie Eastham – Bicycle Geyser;
11. Simon Capelen – Salmon Seats;
12. Matt Owen (with Graham Hall) – Laxey Glen Gardens: Annual Public Sculpture Competition
13. Julie-Anne Denton – Mercury Arc Rectifier

Categories: Public Art

Leave a Reply