Richard J. Manning

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Richard is an Australian artist working with the landscape as his central motif, most particularly, the coastal environment, the intersection of land and sea, earth and water.
Richard began study in Fine Art when working as a MFB firefighter. Swapping shifts with fellow firefighters allowed him to study full time and complete his diploma of fine art in 1984 majoring in printmaking. Richard, determined to incorporate his art practice with his work obligations, painted the United Firefighters Union Banner (funded by the Australia Council) at the Victorian Trades Hall Council Arts Workshop in 1987. The banner is still in regular use by the union.
After spending a decade as a Firefighter Richard took up opportunities in public art. Highlights include; a residency at The Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD); being artist in residence at the Melbourne Remand Centre in 1991; curating one of the first NGV Access Gallery exhibitions, Inside, Outside showcasing work by Victorian prisoners and guest curating another NGV Access Gallery exhibition titled Theoretical Vogueing. 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 predominately explored in his current work. Richard now concentrates exclusively on his painting practice working from his Vale Street St Kilda studio to further develop his vision and technique.
Richard has exhibited his paintings widely having had nine solo exhibitions, including a major show at Gippsland Regional Gallery, Sale, and has participated in several group exhibitions. His work is collected privately both in Australia and internationally and forms part of the collection of a number of public organisations.