New Artwork by renowned Manx Sculptor Bryan Kneale MBE Proposed for Niarbyl

Celebrated Manx-born sculptor Bryan Kneale MBE has submitted an application to the Isle of Man Arts Council to install a new public artwork close to the Raad ny Foillan in Niarbyl. He wishes for the sculpture to be donated to the Isle of Man Arts Council Modern and Contemporary Art Loan Collection for the enjoyment of Manx residents. This would be his first sculptural work to enter the collection.

Eelips (Ellipse) seeks to be a respectful yet poignant addition to the Island’s coastline. Bringing together two- and three-dimensional forms, the sculpture is designed to physically frame the landscape, creating a portal crossing time and place, a space for contemplation and passage. The sculpture will be seen in the landscape, but the landscape will also be seen through the sculpture, via a cut-out void in the centre of the artwork. Natural beauty and human creativity are brought together, with each visitor completing the scene from their own unique viewpoint and imagination.

The artwork is a result of a life’s work in painting and sculpture by this renowned artist, and the realisation of a long-held ambition to install an artwork in the Manx landscape. Bryan Kneale says:‘I’m fairly obsessed with the place I came from, the Isle of Man, which is mountainous and by the sea – it would be wonderful to make something which would work in that landscape.’

The Niarbyl site was chosen due to its stunning unique but complementary views up and down the coastline, as well as across to Ireland and back to the Isle of Man. The geological history also has resonance with the concept of the work. Niarbyl is formed of rocks derived from two separate continents, and so it exists as a meeting point, a connection between lands and worlds, the past and future. It is a place of study and contemplation for dark skies and wildlife, encouraging looking, slowing down, and connecting to nature. It is also a site used as a filming location by Bryan’s brother, acclaimed writer Nigel Kneale, and so is inextricably linked with family and home, as well as celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the island. 

Isle of Man residents are invited by the Kneale family to attend a pre-planning consultation to meet with them to learn more about the proposed sculpture. They will be joined by Manx National Heritage and Arts Development Team Officers representing Isle of Man Arts Council to discuss the project and answer any questions.

Pre-planning consultation:

Thursday 8 February 2024, 12.00 to 6.30pm, Dalby Schoolrooms, Dalby Road, IM5 3BR

This project is proposed by Bryan Kneale, who is gifting his time and fee, and if approved will be funded by Isle of Man Arts Council via a lottery funded grant, The Frampton Fund and Culture Vannin, and delivered in partnership with Manx National Heritage and Bryan’s family.