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Into the Unwild

COLOURFUL CHARACTER: Jay Manby with Command Z, one of the works in Unwild, opening this Thursday night.
COLOURFUL CHARACTER: Jay Manby with Command Z, one of the works in Unwild, opening this Thursday night.

JAY MANBY, visual artist, is a Lismore success story. In only his third year as a serious painter he's having his second solo exhibition, Unwild, at the Art in the Heart PopUp Gallery, 56 Magellan St, Lismore.

Last year he sold some 40 smaller paintings there and this year he's exhibiting 30 new works, all on large canvases.

Prior to this he worked in graphic design, animation, video and photography, which he sees as coming from an opposite angle to the forms he's now pursuing.

"This is coming from chaos and trying to make sense out of it, rather than putting a fixed idea into a desired form," Jay said. "Process is crucial to my work and I would have no success without accepting failure."

Unwild depicts the juxtaposition of landscapes and animals coming up against urbanisation and consumer society. Jay's acrylic paints, inks, quills and sticks detail the "momentum and complexity of our culture" and bring to life all the invisible information that reinforces our human infrastructure and confronts the wild.

His work has been described as "louche and sweet" by Zika Vuletic, a Sydney-based artist and commentator and it is certainly rakish and brilliantly colourful, providing evocative insights into our relationship with nature.

Jay aims to take his work further afield next year, with an exhibition in Newtown, Sydney, where he has many connections and friends from his colourful past.

The opening is tonight, Thursday, November 8, from 6pm, with Mayor Jenny Dowell officiating at 6.30pm and Black Train providing old-fashioned wild, unamplified music.


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