Wallabies Gone Wild! Painting on the Isle of Man

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

In April this year I travelled to the Isle of Man to complete a Wallaby Sculpture.

I travelled across on the ferry from the Dock in Liverpool, taking my car with me we all my paints and equipment. It was a long journey, I kept the sea sickness at bay by curling into a ball and waiting for the 4 hour journey to be over.

The long trip was worth it as I was provided with a stay at The Empress Hotel, one of the sponsors of the trail. This was one of the main reasons I could afford to travel to the Island to paint my sculpture (so thank you!)

I made the most of the sea-side and got up early for a run along the beach, getting myself stuck when I tried to cross a flooded area and returning with soaking wet shoes.

Why Wallabies?

Before my trip I looked into why the island had chosen Wallabies as their sculpture. Usually, with these projects, the city will choose an animal or character that has famous links to the place. Wikipedia told me that in the 60's the Wallabies escaped from the wildlife park and have been roaming in the wild ever since. I didn't believe it until I arrived and the locals told me that it was in fact true. There is thought to be a group of about 50 of them on the island, it is however, a rare sight to spot one!

I was to be painting at the local nature park, in a free warehouse provided by a sponsor, with other artists that had travelled to the Island to paint. It was a brilliant area to just switch off and enjoy the time painting and going for walks and soaking in the peaceful surroundings.

My design was based on the Manx Tartan which is made up of...

Light blue for the sky

Green for the hills & valleys

Purple for the heater

Gold for the gorse

Red for the fuchsia

White for the cottages

Dark blue for the sea

My Sculpture was called Super Manx, he came complete with tartan cape and mask. His body was painted with the Island and all the different elements that made up the Tartan.

Exploring the Island

I had 5 days on the Island, and managed to finish up half way through day 4 leaving me with a day and half to explore.

I decided the best thing to do was to drive around the island, stopping if something caught my attention or looked interesting.

My first stop was a Glen. I didn't know at the time that it was the steepest waterfall on the whole Island and I hiked all the way to the bottom, when I go there I realised I was late for my next appointment and had to run all the way up!

I was very excited as I had last minuet booked a pony trek somewhere in the centre of the Island, his name was Pickles. We trekked around the centre of the Island, taking in all the views and sights for miles around. I didn't have phone signal and it was nice to just switch off.

On day 5 - my last full day - I used it for exploring again. I travelled to the North and East Coasts of the Island. I visited the Castles on the Island. Peel Castle and Castle Rushen. There were stories of horrible deaths and gruesome living - there was definitely an creepy atmosphere as you walked around.

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