In the middle of the Irish Sea is the beautiful Isle of Man. Now, legend has it that the island is protected by an ancient sea god called Mannanan Mac Lir (‘son of the sea’). He’s pretty baddass as he’s got a boat named Scuabtuinne (‘wave sweeper’) which works without sails, a sea-borne chariot drawn by his horse Enbarr (‘water foam’), a sword called Fragarach (‘the answerer’) and it is said that with the sword at their throat no one could move or tell a lie, thus the name Answerer. The sword was also said to place the wind at the user’s command and could cut through any armour or wall and that it inflicted piercing wounds from which no man could recover. He also had a cloak of invisibility (‘feth fiada’) which he could throw over the entire island as an all encompassing mist to hide the island from enemies. Like I said he pretty much had it all going on. Oh, and he had a flaming helmet to top it all off.
If all that isn’t enough in itself to create a design based on Mannanan then the fact that I’m from the Isle of Man myself should probably clinch it. It was originally going to be a wall design but I think it may need adapting somewhat for that to be the case. Perhaps a sticker? The latin text is the manx motto which roughly translated reads ‘however you throw me I shall stand’. So there you go.
So in an update to yesterday’s post the cat has now taken control of the stickers. She’s definitely more agile and fearless when climbing stuff than I’ll ever be but I fear she’ll have problems getting the backing off. Only time will tell. If she succeeds I for one welcome our new feline overlords.
So here it is – our finished piece for Islexpo and Year of our Island. We went for a kind of vintage travel poster look in the end with some abstract land, sea and air (I had to get some stripes in there somehow!) and a mysterious looking lady presenting the magical kingdom of Mann to you. A great day all in and even the weather was playing ball. What more could you want?
On the face of it the triskelion or triskele as it’s also known is just a motif with three-fold rotational symmetry. It is, of course, much more than that. It is the headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D in the Marvel Comics and film franchises, it is the national symbol of Sicily (where is is called ‘trinacria’) and different versions of it have been found in cultures worldwide for thousands of years.
More importantly however it is also the national symbol of the Isle of Man where it’s known as the ‘Three legs on Mann’ and a version with armoured legs with yellow flourishes is featured on the flag against a plain red background. The Sicilians also feature a triskele on their flag but theirs has bare legs, the face of Medusa, three ears of wheat and they favour a yellow and red background. Which makes it all sound a bit busy for my liking.
Anyway today’s piece is a manageable A3 in size was inspired by all the above nonsense. Drop us a line if interested…
In the Isle of Man there is something of a superstition whereby Manx people can’t say the name of one of those little furry things that were blamed for the Black Death, pestilence in general and a whole host of other nefarious things. The reasons for this have dissipated into the mists of time but the superstition remains and due to this quirk in Manx folklore there are a number of socially acceptable local alternatives which include joey, longtail,ringie, iron fella and roddan. Recently young people have also begun saying r-a-t, owing to the influence of English immigrants but older people on the Isle of Man don’t tend to listen to those Jonny come-overs too much and certainly not on such serious subjects as these little buggers. There is a comparable taboo against uttering the word ‘rabbit’ on the Isle of Portland. Here ends the lesson.
Cats have had it their own way for a long time and are also perhaps some of the laziest animals ever to grace our undoubtedly beautiful planet. How they have come to dominate a position at the top of the food chain whilst being quite so lazy is somewhat hard to fathom. Perhaps it is our uniquely human view on what would otherwise be considered a dangerous pest. They have come to dominate us so completely that the top favourite thing for humans to look at on one of our greatest creations – the internet – is images and video’s of cats doing normal feline stuff. Pictures of cats it would seem are, to humans, like catnip is to cats. We seemingly cannot resist them and this makes them undisputed kings of the internet.
So, here at id-iom we thought it was high time we took them on and broke the internet with an id-iom cat picture. Before any smart alec’s point out it has no tail I have, of course, made it a Manx cat as I have one of the little blighters myself. Let the chaos commence!
It’s not all work, work, work here at id-iom HQ. With Bonfire Night fast approaching I took our little Manx cat aside and tried to have a quiet word with her about how dangerous and scary fireworks can be for small cats that have never experienced it before and how I thought it best that she perhaps stay inside for tonight and Saturday. Before I had even finished speaking she glanced at me contemptuously and darted out through the cat flap. When she finally came back in I thought that perhaps writing the rules down would work but she merely gave me a knowing look and started to play with the sheet of paper. Finally i decided enough was enough and I would create a Cat No Exit sign that blocked the cat flap as I fear that if i merely locked it she would get mightily confused. Here she is trying to devise a way past it all the same…