A collective of more than 80 of the island’s artists displayed their work before some of the most senior political figures from across the UK, Ireland and the Crown Dependencies last week.

The Creative Network and Manx National Heritage were tasked with giving a flavour of the island’s history, contemporary culture and artwork at the 41st British-Irish Council (BIC) Summit, which was held on Thursday and Friday at the Comis Hotel, on the 25th anniversary of the organisation’s formation.

The BIC was borne out of the Good Friday agreement and brings the neighbouring administrations together to ‘promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands’.

 The list of distinguished and high-profile guests included Taoiseach Simon Harris, Scotland First Minister John Swinney, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly and Junior Minister Aisling Reilly (who was standing in for First Minister Michelle O’Neill), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris, Channel Islands Chief Ministers Lyndon Farnham and Lyndon Trott and Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles.

Hosted by a Manx delegation spearheaded by Chief Minister Alfred Cannan and Deputy Chief Minister Jane Poole-Wilson, the guests enjoyed exhibitions from many of the Creative Network’s member artists – compiled especially for the event – and a celebration of the RNLI’s 200th birthday which was curated by Manx National Heritage.

A spokesperson for the Creative Network said: ‘The exhibitions brought elements of our island to the delegates, showing some of its beauty which they weren’t able to witness for themselves first hand, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

‘Our favourite quote from the conference was from the Irish joint-head of the British-Irish Council Secretariat, an accomplished painter himself, who described the displays as “fabulous”.

‘The exhibition also highlights a positive collaborative working relationship between the Creative Network and Manx National Heritage, who worked together to make this significant event run smoothly in an extremely short timescale.’