Garth the Inebriated, Gorm the Sea Sick, Astrid the Stunning and Bragi Seagull Bane.
These are four of the 100 Vikings of Mann that have been created by artist and University College Isle of Man lecturer Juan Moore as he injects some fun into his drawings for his latest show.
Juan told Island Life: ‘I like how Vikings have these titles after their names, so I Googled 100 Norse names and made up 100, what I hope, amusing titles for them.
‘Vikings are big in pop culture right now. For the most part this is all very serious, my show is fun and I hope funny. Vikings and art are both taken far too seriously these days.’
The pencil drawings took Juan about five days to complete.
‘I’m still quite close to them,’ he said. ‘Often it takes me a while after the fact to decide whether or not I like something I’ve made, but I got a kick out of drawing them and they give me a chuckle so I think I like them. If I still like them in a couple of months I might collect them all together and publish a book of all 100.
‘I know history buffs won’t like that I gave them all horns on their helmets, but I don’t care, horns on helmets look cool!’
Juan opened the exhibition at his new studio, shop and gallery alongside other creatives at The Square, in Castletown’s Market Square, on Sunday.
‘I’ve been playing around with the idea of doing a project based around quirky characters for a while, but commissions and my job as a lecturer got in the way a little bit,’ he said.
‘I’d planned on downsizing my teaching hours for a while, and when I was able I knew I wanted to focus more on projects for me.
‘I’ve spent the majority of my career illustrating stuff for other people or teaching others, so I knew I wanted to do something for me and part of this was opening a studio/ shop / gallery-type thing.
‘One hundred images sounds like a lot of images and it is, but my work isn’t very big, so most previous shows have averaged between 70 and 100 works.’ He added: ‘Aside from mostly amusing myself with the drawings of Vikings, it occurred to me that I haven’t done a show on the island since 2016, so I felt I owed my art buyers a show.’
He wanted to create an affordable show. Creating drawings, each around 6x4 inches, meant that he could keep the price down to £35 each.
‘I hope they are affordable for most,’ he said.
Juan said that he’s enjoying being back in Castletown, where he grew up and worked in the Co-Op in the 1990s. ‘It’s kind of strange and nostalgic being back,’ he said.
‘The public have been amazing and so far sales and feedback have all been positive,’ he said. ‘I probably should have done this years ago.’
Juan had been looking for a space to rent as a studio for a while.
‘Art is often a solitary occupation,’ he said. ‘I was artist in residence at the Sayle Gallery many years ago and I loved the interaction with the public and so decided that something akin to a shop would suit me better and so far it has.’
As well as a studio and a gallery for his works, he also hopes to use the space to offer art mentorships, from GCSE and A level students to anyone wanting to improve their art.
‘I have a few ideas, we’ll see how it all turns out,’ he said.
Vikings of Mann continues at Unit One, The Square, until September 24. It is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.