About Jay Manby

Link to Got ID  http://www.art.jaymanby.com.au/got-id

8 October 2022. Eltham Village Gallery. Opening 6-9pm

"It is a work that reflects many faces; synthetic, modern and ancient, tragic and comedic...
Manby’s motley crew of images comment on modern day identity"

Jay Manby  

"Jay's works are all 'evocative of an Aussie rogue spirit.'..'chaos and symmetry'..'coloured with the brilliance of the landscape'.....'louche and sweet'."   Zika Vuletic

Artist's statement

My work is driven by process.  In this regard I am opportunistic, I recycle and make use of incidental elements and push a work towards revealing its true nature.  The process begins in the abstract and, at a certain point, the narrative enters.  

 I work from my studio or on the lawn of my home in the Northern New South Wales countryside, allowing me complete freedom to move around a canvas. I like to work large as there is an unbridled physicality to my 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. 

Artist Biography

 A born visual communicator and Image maker, Jay began his life and work in Scotland and England.
His early artistic talent, love of image, drawing and the mark was further nurtured in a creative boarding school in Devon, UK before emigrating to Australia as a teenager, an environment where his talent thrived and his unique visual language began to emerge. 

 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 heeding the call to his true artistic purpose: an exciting and authentic new painter.  

 Through unwavering focus and commitment to his artistic process, Jay has emerged as a strong, natural artist with a commanding ability to communicate and express ideas through painting, drawing and the ever present line.

 Jay is known for creating some of the iconic imagery in Australia's music industry. He has an aria nomination for designing The Cruel Sea's cd artwork as well as poster designs in Sydney's Powerhouse museum collection. He has presented solo shows at the Lismore Arts Centre including 'Unwild '(2012) and 'Bird of Paradise' (2011).

 For the last few years Jay has worked in black and white and square format only, creating an exciting new body of work titled Got ID. A visual study into digital identity.

Jay continues working on a number of new series of paintings as well as a large collection of works on paper.


New exhibition June 2017  INSTINCT 

Instinct exhibition and opening. Photos by Andrew McDonald


Studio  Jay Manby  (Photo by Alex Clarke)



'Unwild' an exhibition of new paintings by Jay Manby.
OPENING THURS 8TH NOV. 6-9 PM  Show runs from 8th-15th NOVEMBER 2012 

Unwild highlights the plight of the wild and its co existence with urbanisation and consumer society.

The works consist of Landscapes in the form of contrasting perspectives and figurative subjects comprising of Australian and introduced animals and industries.

I have articulated a more intensive visual language in this body of work perpetuating in deliberate illustration in communicating my ideas. 




Opening of Unwild. 2012


Bird of Paradise is a collection of new art works by Local designer and Visual artist Jay Manby to be held in Lismore's Art in the heart "pop up" gallery in 56 Magellan street Lismore. Jay has spent the last year and a half following a new direction as an artist developing a  visual language enabling him to communicate and express ideas  through painting and drawing. Jay studied Visual communications Design and graduated from the University of Technology Sydney in 1991. He has worked for over twenty years as a freelance designer and art director in graphic design, web design, video and animation.  He has designed everything from award winning CD designs to wine labels, clothing and set design.

Jay says “I approach my art in almost the reverse of my design practice, I like being a bit out of cotrol and not knowing exactly where I am being taken.  The work challenges  the idea or notions of paradise and the free world  from within a social, enviromental and personal context. We are living with image and information saturation and some of my work also demonstrates ideas based around this.

From the Echo - Paradise in Lismore

Jay Manby is both an artist and a graphic designer. But after working for over 20 years as a freelance designer and art director in graphic design, web design, video and animation, Jay’s focus has turned towards his artwork.

“This change in direction has been coming for a while. I’ve always been into art. This last year I’ve just been painting,” Jay told Scene. “I approach my art in almost the reverse of my design practice. I like being a bit out of control and not knowing exactly where I’m being taken.”

Jay’s exhibition Bird of Paradise consists of 65 paintings that have all been created this past 18 months. The exhibition is on display at the ‘pop up’ gallery at 56 Magellan Street in Lismore. The paintings in Bird of Paradise challenge the notions of paradise and grapple with current issues. This oblique social commentary is often reflected in the paintings’ titles.   The exhibition runs till December 3 - S Sorenson - Echo news

All work copyright Jay Manby
Please contact me at art@jaymanby.com.au 

Work in progress . Titled
The first day of spring 122 x 366 cm   Acrylic & ink on canvas

SOLD Mobey 122 cm x 184 cm
Acrylic & ink on canvas 2015

I am currently looking for gallery representation and exhibition spaces.