Knox and Pilates commemorated with Cathedral statue
A new sculpture and garden have been unveiled in the grounds of St German’s Cathedral in Peel, with a donation of glazes and the help of art and ceramics teacher Gayna Miller from St Ninian’s High School after Ballakermeen’s school kiln broke down.
With only 2 weeks to go before the unveiling, artist Angela Pratchett was unable to finish five out of twelve tiles for the base of her sculpture and got in touch with St Ninian’s for assistance. Miss Miller said she was only too happy to help.

“It was great to be involved in a community project that reflects the global influence of Joseph Pilates and renowned designer Archibald Knox who taught at St Ninian’s High School when it was the Douglas School for Boys. The tiles designed by Angela were inspired by the designs of Knox and the glazes she chose are based on the colours he also used in his work. We made the rest of the tiles in school and after bisque firing them we met up at my house and spent a relaxing Saturday afternoon glazing them, chatting about the sculpture and drinking tea. I fired them again in our Lower School kiln over the Easter holidays. Chris and Kenny Stokes and I laid them in black grout in the base of the sculpture. At first they didn’t fit and the surrounding granite didn’t join together, our hearts sank, then I swapped two tiles around and everything all slotted into place. They look wonderful and it was a joy to be a part of of something so meaningful. The Cathedral’s gardens are a beautiful tranquil place to sit, relax and reflect – they are open everyday, I encourage everyone I know to visit and take a look when they are in Peel. It’s just by the bus stop!”

The Knox-Pilates sculpture is situated in the 20th Century Knockaloe Garden and was unveiled on Easter Sunday by former president of Tynwald Clare Christian. The sculpture represents Archibald Knox and Josef Pilates, two people associated with the Knockaloe Internment Camp. The sculpture and garden are the latest developments in a multimillion-pound campaign to modernise and develop the historic building and its grounds. Pilates was a German internee at Knockaloe, said to have perfected his famed fitness methods while at the camp, while Manx designer Knox controlled the censorship at the camp. The sculpture is made of bronze, stainless steel, glass, granite and tile. The design aims to incorporate a sense of movement associated with Pilates as well as the decorative work of Knox.
Four surrounding gardens are named The Gardens of the Four Corners of the World. These four gardens represent internees coming from the four corners of the world and genocides which have taken place there. Each garden represents a genocide told through the medium of a fable. The west is represented by the Jewish holocaust in which six million Jews died, the north by the Ukraine Holodomor forced famine which killed seven million people between 1932 and 1933, the south by the 1994 Rwandan genocide which saw 800,000 people die and the east by the Nanjing massacre in China between 1937 and 1938 in which there were 300,000 deaths. The west garden was opened by Dr Richard Arning and Leonard Singer, representing the German and Jewish community. The north garden was opened by Peel resident Katrina Davison, who is from Ukraine. Megan Walkom, an A level student who is going to Rwanda opened the south garden while Vicky Harrop, the first volunteer gardener, opened the east garden.

For more information behind the sculpture please go to:-…sculpture.pdf


About Andrew Otten