Manx Wildlife Trust artist in residence Clare Payne talks to the Isle of Man Arts Council about her recent work with beach art and stamps with her artwork to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the trust.

Manx Wildlife Trust artist in residence Clare Payne, in partnership with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man, is funded by Isle of Man Arts Council.

The residency connects new audiences with Manx nature, through the medium of art, with the aim of enabling people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy our culture and the arts, as well as inspiring them to appreciate and engage with Manx nature.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Manx Wildlife Trust, the Isle of Man Post Office has issued a set of 10 stamps illustrated by Clare.

The stamps highlight the importance of nature conservation and the vast variety of wildlife, flora and fauna the Isle of Man has to offer.

The charity aims are to preserve and protect the island’s wildlife since it was founded in 1973.

Clare said: ‘I am delighted to have been offered this incredible opportunity to paint a set of stamps for Isle of Man Post Office and am very excited at the prospect of my artwork being posted all around the world.

‘I am extremely grateful to Isle of Man Arts Council for funding my role as Biosphere artist in residence.

‘It has been a brilliant experience creating the stamp designs, each depicting a species that holds special significance for the Manx Wildlife Trust.’

The Manx Wildlife Trust has also been hosting a series of Love your beach events.

Clare created beach art around some of the island’s beaches during January and February.

‘The beach art first took place in Port Erin and we had over 50 attendees of all ages,’ she said.

‘They were given instruction on how to make different marks with their tools and then given free creative rein!

‘Some focussed on their favourite sea creatures, others used their new-found skills to create abstract marine patterns in the sand.

‘Activities at the next “Love Your Beach” event at Douglas beach included a shark egg hunt and a bonfire with marine-fairytale storytime.

‘It was wonderful to get the local community engaged and we had some incredible drone footage of the art work we created.’