Richard J. Manning completed a Diploma of Fine Art at Monash Caulfield in 1984 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Electronic Design and Interactive Media at RMIT, Melbourne in 2002.
Richard had been a brickworks labourer, public servant, ward assistant, tram conductor and driver, taxi driver and a MFB firefighter. Always in the search for something else before finding his true vocation and beginning study in Fine Art at Monash Caulfield. Leading a double life he juggled obligations and swapped shifts with fellow firefighters to study full time and complete a diploma of fine art. In 1990 he resigned from the MFB to pursue opportunities in the area of Public Art.
Richard has worked extensively in the arts industry including roles with both the NGV and Museum Victoria. In 1999 Richard formed Glass Street gallery with co-director Mary-Ann Manning and worked closely with the Melbourne / North Melbourne artistic community to host a diverse catalogue of exhibitions and performances with local and international artists over a three year period.
Richard maintains strong links with his location and environment actively seeking out proximity to the natural world. This immersion of himself in his immediate environment has been a characteristic of his work that previously focused on inner city Melbourne extending to rural and coastal Victoria. The Great Ocean Road is the environment explored in this current body of work.
Based on reality and then evolved into paintings with a surface both beautiful and intricate, Richard J. Manning is not afraid to follow his instinct, to take risks with paint and medium, leaving traces of layers and remnants of marks to describe a romantic connection to the ocean, rivers and sky of the south west coast. Each painting begins with a vision, and often a story, that drives the progression through the months it takes to complete a work.
“These paintings are my constants, my way of looking closer at the moments that have inspired me over time, they are my pause button in my everyday life” – Richard J. Manning