"Jay's works are evocative of Aussie rogue spirit...chaos and symmetry...coloured with the brilliance of the landscape...louche and sweet.” Zika Vuletic 2017
Jay Manby’s work is driven by process, recycling and making opportunistic use of incidental elements that push a work towards revealing its true nature. The process begins in the abstract, and at a certain point, the narrative enters.
Working from his studio or on the lawn of his home in the Northern New South Wales countryside allows Jay complete freedom to move around a canvas. He likes to work large. There is an unbridled physicality to his work that demands scale. Much like action painting, the canvases see-saw between order and chaos. This brings a fragile tension and energy to the work.
"Mediums and materials will vary. My aim is to make marks that represent and delineate human responses to physical, emotional and subconscious worlds. Dense, shiny black indelible ink and quick drying acrylics give me freedom to layer and experiment. I use random objects found in my surroundings to make marks with character. They offer versatility, intensity and quality of line, which I am passionate about.
The process continues with layers of ink and paint, building detail and surface tension until a kind of iconography emerges. It becomes a visual language that evokes the momentum and complexity of our culture, and reflects the natural world and our place in it."
Jay studied Design, Image Making and Visual Communications at the University of Technology Sydney and worked as a celebrated designer and art director for many years before pursuing his personal vision as an exciting and authentic new painter.
As designer and art director Jay has worked with many celebrated Australian musicians and is known for creating iconic imagery in the Australian music industry. He has been nominated for an ARIA for album design (The Cruel Sea), and his work has been collected by Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. Jay has presented solo shows at the Lismore Arts Centre, including Unwild (2012) and Bird of Paradise (2011).
From 2014 - 16 Jay worked in black & white - square format exclusively, creating an exciting new body of work titled Got ID, a visual study into digital identity. He is also making an animated film based on 44 works from this series. Identity is a constant theme in his work.
In 2016 - 17 Jay has been working on a series of new paintings on canvas as well as a large collection of works on paper, which he presents in his exhibition at Lone Goat Gallery Byron Bay.