Artist Paul Quayle has spent two years exploring Snaefell from different angles.

He was inspired by Japanese artist Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (1831-1833).

And the result is an exhibition, 36 Views of Snaefell, featuring ink paintings, wood carvings and haiku poetry which has opened at the Hodgson Loom Gallery, in Laxey.

Paul told Island Life: ‘I was first introduced to Hokusai by my good friend and main collaborator in this project Allan Brown after he had visited Japan.

‘I have been writing haiku poetry for 27 years, so have had a long interest in Japanese culture.

‘Discovering Hokusai’s Views immediately grabbed my attention and I decided to try to produce views of Snaefell in wood carvings: simple silhouetted lines that I felt distilled the landscape in a simple, yet powerful and elegant way.’

His first view of Snaefell is from the top of the Narradale Road, where he lives. He had a moment of realisation back in March 2018 seeing it completely white after a dusting of snow. ‘Finally its name Snow Mountain, in Old Norse, made sense.’

He wrote a haiku poem and made a wood carving of the silhouetted line of the view from a photograph, which became the genesis of his subsequent exploration.

‘During 2020 and 2021, I visited many places across the island, finding views and writing poems,’ he said. ‘In many ways, the project became by excuse and motivation to simply get out for a walk.’

He added: ‘Trying to find different views of Snaefell was tremendous fun and people who knew what I was doing would sometimes suggest places I should explore.’

Paul’s ink paintings have been inspired by the one stroke painting of contemporary Japanese artist Kazuaki Tanahashi.

One of the dilemmas he faced was whether or not to include the two towers.

‘Something I started to realise was that without its towers, Snaefell would be far less recognisable in the Manx landscape,’ he said. ‘You can see this in old photographs or when the mist comes down just enough to cover them.’ He decided to include them in some pieces but they are often absent from the views from further away.

The multiple lines of Paul’s ink paintings evolved as he started to think about multiple worlds and parallel universes after exploring Manx folklore.

And he now refers to the Millennium Way - which he walked parts of on his travels - as The Milky Way to reflect the fact its route includes sections of the medieval Via Regia, known as The Great Road of King Orry.

‘When the legendary King Orry landed at The Lhen he pointed to the Milky Way when asked where he came from,’ he said.

Paul’s fourth collection of haikus is for sale at the gallery.

They include a ‘haiku moment he had while walking The Milky Way when the sound of the wind through a metal gate sounded like a didgeridoo.

pine trees cushion wind;

metal gate didgeridoo

Paul has also started working on ‘One Hundred Views of Snaefell’, in imitation of Hokusai’s ‘One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji’. It’s taking the form of a haiku travelogue with alternating passages of poetry and prose.

The exhibition also features pieces inspired by other aspects of Snaefell. They include paintings and photographs by Allan Brown, folklore by Julie Roberts and Julia Ashby Smyth, a painting by Michael Starkey and metal sculptures by Rob Jones.

In addition, Sid Gilbert has created a soundtrack ‘Coast to Coast’ which saw him turn some of Paul’s haikus into morse code, which he then used to program his synthesisers. The exhibition continues until September 25.