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Dazzle & Disrupt Exhibition

This weekend at Quay Arts, an exciting new exhibition was meant to be opening…

Focusing on themes of perception, disorientation and disruption, ‘Dazzle & Disrupt’ is an exhibition showcasing the work of two emerging contemporary visual artists working in the South; Lisa Traxler and Jeannie Driver. The exhibition pays homage to the Dazzle design invented in 1917 by marine artist Norman Wilkinson and its relationship to the Island’s maritime heritage through newly commissioned artworks.

Despite the West Gallery being closed, we still want to share with you and celebrate the work these artists have made to date! We are gutted this work won’t be seen in the flesh for a while, but we hope you can appreciate these fantastic photos.


Live Events: Rescheduled & Re-launched!

As we’re sure you are aware, we had to cancel/postpone a large amount of events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  We have managed to reschedule the majority of the cancelled March-April programme and are pleased to announce the new dates below:  

All existing tickets/seat places have been re-allocated to these new dates.  We will be contacting everyone who has purchased tickets to these events over the next week.  Please bear with us during this time as we will be working through the events performance by performance in date order – but rest assured we will be in contact soon.  Any queries you may have in the meantime can be directed to  


Throwback Thursdays – The Big Draw 2019!

Did you take part in last years The Big Draw Festival at Quay Arts? We wanted to share with you the amazing animation video that was made in result of the family workshop. 

On Wednesday 30th Oct, Quay Arts took part in the Big Draw Festival #DrawnToLife. Families joined Charlotte Ager and Matty Ellis to create a unique stop frame animation. Here is the finished key result – It’s fantastic! Thank you to all who took part.Hopefully this is something to put a smile on your face today! 

Why not try make your very own animation at home? Create & draw characters, make up scenes and take a series of pictures.

To find out more about the Big Draw please click here!


‘The Great Leap Forward’ Virtual Tour!

This would of been the last week to see the ‘Great Leap Forward’ Exhibition in the West Gallery…

The Great Leap Forward Exhibition is a group exhibition of work created by local school children from across the Island reflecting upon the heritage of the Isle of Wight and theme of ‘The Future’, drawing inspiration from, and celebrating the Lift the Lid project and commissions. It’s such a shame that this fantastic exhibition only had a few visitors before it had to shut due to COVID-19.

Artists Ian Whitmore and Chris Jenkins worked with Island schools; St Saviours, Queensgate, Nine Acres, St Catherine’s, The Island Free School and Barton Primary to create work for The Great Leap Forward celebratory exhibition exploring heritage, culture and the theme of ‘The Future’. Taking inspiration from the four Lift the Lid public art commissions created on the Island earlier last year, the artists and young people invite the viewer to consider what cultural heritage means to you and what might be left in the future for others to discover.

However, if you were unable to see it, we have put together a small virtual tour for you!


HOMEART # 5 – Shadow Tracings!

A simple and fun activity making art from shadows.

Materials needed: Paper, crayons, pens, sunshine or an internal light source.

Find a sunny spot in your garden or on your stoop.

Place an object or two directly on the ground or raised on a stool etc.

Make sure to position your set-up so that light falls across it and casts a shadow.

Place a sheet of paper in the path of the shadow and trace around the edges to capture a likeness.

Rotating an item will alter the shape of it’s key shadow. Experiment to cast detail or create interesting shapes.

Swapping objects or rotating and re-drawing items several times will create layered semi-abstract drawings.

Try using different colours for overlapping tracings to add vitality.

We used ships-in-bottles, toy dinosaurs, cacti and a miniature star wars model in our experiments. What will you use?

Make sure to share this with friends and family you know who will want to give it a go! We would love to see your creations – tag us in your pictures!


Intune Upcycle Orchestra Fridays – Joe Buckell

Every Friday at Quay Arts, we normally have the incredible In Tune Upcycle Orchestra rehearsing in our building. Every Friday, we will be sharing videos and stories of these inspirational individuals in the Upcycle Orchestra.

This Friday, we share a video of Joe Buckell!
“Cor blimey is it Friday already! This week I would like to introduce you to Mr Joe Buckell. Joe has a very good music knowledge and is the king of air guitar. As you can see by this great video of Joe singing he has a connection with a lot of the song’s that he sings and likes to give a good intro!! Take it away Joe and happy Friday everyone, please take care!” – Darren Price – In Tune Upcycle Orchestra Facilitator


Throwback Thursday – Richard Long Exhibition 2017

Three years have past since Turner Prize winning artist and Britain’s leading figure in Land Art, Richard Long presented a series of photographic and text works as well as a monumental floor installation made from flint in our main gallery. A vinyl text installation ‘The Isle of Wight as Six Walks’ 1982, from which the exhibition takes it name, was on display for the first time, representing coast to coast walks by roads and paths on the Isle of Wight, as well as a bespoke ‘wall drawing’ using local mud from the River Medina.

Richard Long discusses his exhibition ‘The Isle of Wight as Six Walks’ and wider work with writer and curator Les Buckingham. You can find the full key talk on our Youtube Channel.

Check out these incredible photos of the exhibition by Julian Winslow. 📸

And talking of walking, the team at Quay Arts are taking part in the ‘Walk the Wight Your Way’ in memory of our dear colleague, Jeni Saunders (Pink Jen). 

Due to COVID-19, the normal Walk The Wight event won’t be taking place. HOWEVER, Mountbatten Isle of Wight have asked for people to Walk the Wight ‘Your Way’! Therefore, Quay Arts staff will be completing 26 miles walking in their own time, to raise money for Mountbatten Isle of Wight.

If you would like to donate, please click here for the Quay Arts Just Giving Page!


HOMEART #4 – Consequence Characters

Drawing consequences is a great fun quick game to play with your family!

Here is what you need…

Any size plain paper
Pen or pencil
Felt tips or colouring pencils
Other people to play with

  1. Without letting anyone else see, draw a ‘head’ on the top of your sheet.
  2. Fold the paper over so that only bottom on the neck shows, pass your drawings to the person on your left. 
  3. Now draw neck, arms, body and very top of legs. 
  4. Fold over the paper so that only the top of the legs show and pass to the left. 
  5. Finally draw legs and feet and get ready for the big hilarious reveal!

Remember, be as wild and creative as you can – you can have lots of legs, wings instead of arms, a robot head, giant furry feet…

Grow your character and write a story…
Colour in your drawing and bring the creature to life – Give them a name. Where do they live? Do they have a job? Who are their friends? What sort of personality do they have? Can you imagine what adventures they might get up to? Let your imagination run free.

Please share your creations with us and don’t forget to tag Quay Arts! 


MHT – A Dancer’s Isolation Diary

With the Mike Howley Trust funding round now open for 2020/2021, we have asked previous MHT recepients what they have been up to during Isolation and how they have found new ways to be creative staying at home.

Here is a video put together by Dancer Jorja Follina Dance & Fitness

“This is a collection of moments from my time in isolation. As a dancer it has been very important to keep active and finding ways to continue researching movement,even in a small. I didn’t put too much pressure on what I did each day, as long as I found movement in some way. Some days have been difficult and felt unproductive, other days I felt incredibly inspired – and I wanted to show this fluctuation in the video.”

If you would like to find out more about the Mike Howley Trust and how you can apply for funding as a young creative, please click here!


HOMEART #3 – Bejewelled Eggs!

Make your own Bejeweled Eggs this Easter weekend!

Between 1885 – 1917 the House of Faberge produced exquisite jewelled eggs for the Tsars of Russia.

This Easter, Quay Arts is inviting you to create and share your own blinged-up eggs which we’ll put up in an online albumen.

Assuming you don’t have precious metals, minerals and gemstones or a team of master craftspeople to hand, the following pointers might give you some ideas.

Make abstract marks on a piece of thick key paper with watercolour, ink, paint. Once dry, cut out an egg shape.

Use shaped die-cutters, hole punches, stickers and drawing materials to decorate and develop the surface of your egg base.

Cut out and glue on paper swag / filigree for a Faberge feel. Add details with metallic markers / paint. Enhance with stick-on-gems.

Et Voila!


Throwback Thursday – Do you remember these?

Who remembers any of these old Quay Arts Brochures? We want to hear your QUAY memories.

A massive thank you to everyone who sent in their suggestions and ideas on what to do with our current brochure which has been printed. So creative! Make sure to watch this space to see what we decide to do with them.

Times are very strange at the moment but it’s amazing to see everyone taking it in their key stride. We want to keep everyone smiling, making the arts accessible from home. Have you been enjoying our content so far?

Don’t forget you can buy a gift voucher for when the Quay reopens or make a single donation here. As a charity and non-profit organisation, we rely heavily on the income of our cafe, shop, events and workshops to keep us afloat. So any support you show, we truly appreciate it. 


Bringing Exhibitions to your home #2

Exhibitions are closed but don’t worry – we are bringing the latest exhibition to you at home! 
Currently in the West Gallery we have ‘The Great Leap Forward’ Exhibition. A group exhibition of work created by local school children from across the Island drawing inspiration from, and celebrating the Lift the Lid project and commissions.
Artists Ian Whitmore and Chris Jenkins worked with Island schools; St Saviours, Queensgate, Nine Acres, St Catherine’s, The Island Free School and Barton Primary to create work for this exhibition exploring heritage, culture and the theme of ‘The Future’.
First LTL Artist Commission – THE VENTNOR GIANT
“The Ventnor Giant was the first commissioned artwork for the Lift the Lid project and was by the street artist Phlegm. I find it to be a most inspiring piece, just crying out for children to create new myths and legends key about this marvellous creature with Ventnor on his back, which is why we asked storyteller Sue Bailey to work with schools on the Island to create new stories of the Giant. These stories will be available on a new website of the commissioned Artists’ Notebooks which is coming soon.” – Lift the Lid Project Manager, Sarah Girling.
Check out our very own giant, which was made in the gallery for the exhibition by Ian Whitmore & Chris Jenkins! Why not try and make/draw/paint your own giant?

Check out the blog focusing on the artwork inspired by the Giant, by children from Oakfield Primary. Click here!

See the short film by Glasshouse productions (1 minute long) which is the making of the Ventnor Giant, Click here!

Check out the interactive notebook from the exhibition! Click here.