Two of the island’s leading artists have found a new home at an expanding arts hub in the south of the island.
Painter Anna Clucas and illustrator Juan Moore have taken up a permanent residency at the Engine House, in Castletown.
Both artists share a studio space in the new and continuously developing arts and media and tech hub, having moved into the downstairs floor of the building shortly before Christmas.
Both artists are well-known and successful in their own right but have struggled to find a suitable creative space to operate from.
The new venture at the Engine House has allowed to them to share space and costs and will enable the two artists to focus on new projects, work and commissions.
Anna has previously worked out of the Isle Gallery, at Tynwald Mills, while Juan has previously worked off the island and out of the Grenaby arts studios.
’It is nice to have a space to come in and paint in and not to worry about having to tidy up for workshops,’ said Anna.
’We have this area split up nicely into Anna’s space and Juan’s space. They are very different corners of the same room.
’At first I thought we’d never get any work done between us as we’d always be chatting. Obviously that still happens, but we still get a lot of work done.
’I have actually produced and finished two paintings in the time we’ve been here and have started working on a third.’
Already, the shared space has led Juan and Anna to ’accidently co-operate’ on a piece of work.
’We have started to collaborate on one piece’, said Juan.
’Anna was working on a painting and she felt it just wasn’t going anywhere. In fact, I think she was going to scrap it. I looked at it from a totally different angle, and have started to turn the landscape into a figure.
’I’ve no idea where it will go from here but it is really great that we can bounce off each other like that.’
Juan has just finished work on a high-profile project, creating a range of ’Dungeon and Dragon’-style book cover props for the HBO TV series True Detective.
He says he ’ended up designing a few more bits and pieces for other television shows besides’.
Both artists say that the public are welcome to come and visit them in their new space.
’This is our studio space, and while it is not exactly in the public eye, we are happy for people to drop by and come and see us,’ said Juan.
’There are lots of artists working on the island at the moment, but it is quite rare to get to see where or how they work. We’re here, and we are more than happy for people to come in and talk about it.’
Jane Hall, from the Engine House, said: ’I was really happy to be in a position to offer studio space to Juan and Anna, who are amongst the best known artists on the island.
’Their presence here helps to establish The Engine House as an arts hub and I am working to build on that further with more fine art exhibitions planned this year.’