Feeling subconscious - Non focal awareness

Digging through the top soil

The absurd - Below the Wind : Ardennes Belgium 1944 Topographically missing in action 
Family narrative Painting MM


When Herman Hesse wrote that 'Every man or woman is not only him or herself for he or she is also the unique particular, always significant and remarkable point where the phenomena of the world intersect once and for all and never again'

Hesse is not saying we shouldn't embrace our shared social sisterhood or brotherhood etc nor is he claiming that we should ignore our collective strengths as a closer knit society or humanity. He is stating that personal experience - though often shared - is always unique and particular to the individual - we are all different due to a myriad of circumstances, responses - the quirks and nuances of an individuals genetic make up within the 'self'. Using this unique auto biographical experiential voice and knowledge is vitally important for any Artist, Musician, Author etc if they wish to make work that has genuine authenticity and honesty - and crucially if we wish to share it as a visual 'opinion' / subtle experience - OR indeed to 'raise the volume' and make societal work that supports, subverts or criticises society. This 'voice' should also be applied to any smart creative school or Institute that seeks to cultivate and harbour creativity. Seeking to emote new knowledge takes risk and deeper levels of self awareness beyond the superficial, aesthetic skills - it requires digging deeper - down through the strata of surface turf that can stifle intuitive germination - stifling original ideas and concepts.

Digging a little deeper through the top soil is necessary if we wish to 'Practice or Teach' Creativity. This is Authorial Practice.

There is also the esoteric turf of Intellectual and analytical theory within the Creative Arts and Humanities. The Academisation of the Arts is concerning.

Don Marquis the great American poet and writer said something along the lines of - to publish a line of poetry is akin to throwing a feather down into the grand canyon - there will be no grand resounding echo.

Now I may have added the last bit -  but Marquis' truth can also be applied to the act of producing a drawing, doodle or painting -  or playing the fiddle  - or indeed to any non commercially commissioned creative practice. It is akin to whispering to ones reflection in the mirror - not an act after approval and with no aspiration attached to it other than the doing 
Making at its best and most honest is most often just performed as a statement of existence - an individual or collective act of being.

Like the megalithic hand stencil in the cave of dreams. 

''I am here'' .... and if the work survives ''I was here'' ( the hominid hand on the cave - or the 'graffiti'  on the alley wall )


Seminar Notes:

Subjective and Collective memory. A Juxtaposition of imagery 

notes; Triggers for primitive automatic drawing / writing is of course a scrambled reception of eclectic primary sources - from subliminal or observed experiences - phenomena - or from less tangible 'neomena' - there is less intent but years of downloaded recordings ''will out'' -  meaning they 'will be expressed' out via expression.

When this does not occur - or repression has occured then mind & body can distort - compensate and then encounter forms of break down
This process merges cloudy experiential knowledge with the impressions made on the infant cortex by the first colour palettes we encounter and from the 1960s flickering Cathode Ray  - and this primary knowledge may have far more orchestration of the hand- eye relationship than is acknowledged - and a deeper influence than the more 'Learned' or received influences of say Literature, Poetry, Natural History, Field recordings or music. Schooling. 

Print 'Angels in the house' ( WOOLF above 2006 ) mm

Print: 'Limen - and so we stood at the Lip - arm around Hip' 2010  

In Four Quartets T.S Elliot wrote'We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started & know the place as if for the first time'


Work by MM from ' Into the Lap of the Land series  2006 - 12 
Pen Drawing ' We stood at the Lip '
Large Photographic prints ' 2007 - 2012 by m.manning

Panacea; can  self expression  ameliorate some of the effects of harmful social and psychological environments."

Our creative capacity to reproduce threads of memory and to transform and recycle experience.

To recall & revisit a previous state or condition after having been altered, moved or deformed by its affects.

Our Natural habitat and our ability to empathise in it / with it from the view of the outsider(to have 'Einfühlung') to have 'feeling into' and to project our emotion into the landscape as well as receive from it 

To occupy ones own natural external environment, natural surroundings, our home, domain, our haunts - to observe from the inside out.
mm 2006


 Still from Tarkovsky's 'Ivan's Childhood' 

Sentience Under the Loadstar

As Human Beings we are receptive to the most abstract of visual Images just as we relate with sound and music. In any 'outdoor' context, light, form and colour create atmospheric nuances and prompt our senses, emotions, memories and experiences  - these are complex optical and neurological processes but are also much too free and elusive to be trapped by Scientific theory or language alone
As sentient individuals we carry unique experience and bring personal knowledge, feelings and bias to the images, paintings and photography we view. Yet it is often a subconscious recognition or sensation, a kind of de ja vu. This frequency of awareness has a rogue antenna and an elusive reception. Yet for this magical reception to transmit and be sensed by the viewer the empathy switch inside our own 
heads has to be turned on - and in this digital age this subtle reception is sadly, for many, on standby or 'out of tune - Or perhaps 'Out of Time' .... indeed Time and 'Being' has to be spent in order for the passage
to occur MM 2007


Large format print made at Cambridge Print workshops 1994  by M.M

RCA Research and Editorial 

M.Manning:  Large Print Works 1985 - 2012 including first research test Canon Laser Copier Prints RCA 1987-91 ( Whitworth Print Collection)

Below; CLC Print series 1988/9  MM

I was fortunate enough to stay on after my Masters in the department and was employed for a further two years as a researcher and Canon CLC operator continuing research and experimental work with the Canon research project group with Senior Fellows Simon Larbalestier and Richard Caldicott, and academic staff Professor Dan Fern and Andrzej Klimowski. 

1987-90 saw the very first breakthrough notions of digital 'Print' and colour Laser CLC phototcopying - prior to them being located in retail and sold to colleges - we were briefed to explore their potential - as a consequence many new creative practices were initiated by this small collective of staff, students and alumni - Illustrative aesthetics that are commonplace today were investigated by this small team - and exhibited at the show ORIGINAL COPIES - The show catalogue is superb piece of design with a strong essay - very hard to find a copy today. ( I will post it up soon ). The results of this 'behind closed doors visual LAB work in the Illustration department 87 -91 became very influential on the wider Illustration culture in the London and the UK - with Peter Dyer at random House, Pan Macmillan and Edi Edwards at Penguin Books commissioning new radical jackets for the period. (This is prior to Adobes Photoshop)
From the resulting show of work my prints were luckily selected by the Curator from the Whitworth to be purchased by the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester and represent the collective efforts of the group - and logged in the Permanent collection. 

'One with Wishes' Woolen Mills and Spinning Jenny - tales of the Riding - autobiographical alterations - shifts and spins.

RCA Original Copies collective Shows were London, Japan and Europe 1991  


Early Works: Time & Being - Sense of Place 
Bookworks MM  In the Collection of Book Arts Brno Prague Czech:

On the evocative subject of Memory John Ruskin, Sebald, Prousts Swans Way and Bachalard's book 'The Poetics of Space' are often referenced as seminal texts by Visual Artists to give their works literate and poetic context. Of our Contemporary writers on the human condition the great
John Berger writes the most warmly.Yet Visual Language, like sense instinct and music is arguably
the more emotive conduit for the evocation of memory and experience' than the written word.mm 2006



Beginings  ..... 1985 - 87 Drawing, Owls, Ecology and creative writing 

In 1985 -87 Whilst studying Fine Art Printmaking & Drawing at Maidstone school of Art
I submitted young 'super-natural' ecological short stories and poems for my dissertation with an accompanying essay  - the essay was on the spirit of northern european Landscape and its relationship with Lorcas spanish theory of Duende  - the work of Munch, Casper David Friedrich and our own Yorkshire Poet Ted Hughes and the Irish Poets Yeats and Heaney) and also oddly the American 'Landscape' Paintings of Pollock, Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn.

'Duende' is a concept we have no singular word for in the English language. ( Lorca defines the duende 'el duende de que hablo' as 'oscuro y estremecido') The word has magical dark and melancholic roots but also celebrates Life and growth.

In my early teaching, from 1994 lecture notes at Cambridge school of Art lecture i delivered on 'Artists books' I promoted the idea to students that by making personal autobiographical work and placing it into a new context we have the creative capacity to reveal layers of memory and to transform and recycle past experience for others - stories for childrens and narratives for all ages - to pass on historical experience, opinion and tales''

Lorcas's concept of 'Duende' suggests a dark resonance and beauty - a state of connectivity and consciousness . In German to have 'Einfühlung' is a similar linguistic encapsulation of Duende. Goethe, defined Duende in the music and playing of Paganini, saying: "mysterious power that we all feel and no philosopher explains." Whilst this 'feeling' is often translated as a 'passionate' and dark force it is an articulate attempt by Lorca to encapsulate the transient reception of evocation - an intangible and elusive transmission from the elements and our empathy with it as artists - how we listen and absorb the 'sounds' from the earth and in essence how we - like a conduit - receive and portray it.  MM 2006

Lorcas theory of Duende notes ; first dissertation 87

Zoo drawing and Lithograph A1 1987 mm

Left 'Set to Fly' young Portrait of of RAF WW2 Veteran 1944.

MM Ecology Painting RCA 1990

Cover Illustration Penguin Books mm

'flux' magazine manchester  09 Illustrations Mack


Haworth 'Bronte' PRINT 2009   M.Manning

Mack Manning;  PAN Book Jackets above; for Robert Louis Stevenson ' travelogue in the south sea islands. Below; Irish Detective Short Stories Flan O Brien

Above; John Magus Fiction; Penguin Cover Design MM

Notes; HOME is a place where precious objects are kept and where our heart was or is - with or without Materfamilias and Paterfamilias it is where we are raised and the 'home' is a concept we evolve toward as an aspiration - towards our own future home, Parenting and dwelling.

Book Cover by MM for Vietnam War tales by Pullitzer Prize author Olen Butler. 

Butlers writing is highly evocative of Landcsape and sense of Place;

Below;bottom/  BBC Audio cover, The Ghost Stories by James
'Whistle and I'll come to you' M.Manning 1995


The mind regarded as a store of things remembered and all things FELT

mm/ 08 Science Fiction Photo Essay image for the Prose in  'Greenfield Fayre'

MILL TOWN ELEGY - extract   
'Greenfield Fayre 

For us there then,
The flagged alley held - Warm embrace. 
Timeless in our youth. 
And such it seemed that 
The whole firmament Slid by oblivious 
To our future state. 
A heaven to taste as Palettes mature.
mm / 2008
'Silvie and black' from new photo essay
'The Sylvian aqueduct' from Silvus7

Mack Manning; Illustration for The Elton John & Bernie Taupin Song Book -  Edith Piaf

mm2007 'Time Machine' Bd22 Tales from the Riding

mm 'Slick Spillage' 1989

mm/ 'All our Ozone' Acrylic on board 1989

mm / Large format print 'Gender studies 

Visit Hugh Lupton and Chris Wood's Christmas Champions "http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/worldmusic/feature_mummers.shtml''
Mummers and Guisers arise and act out your masked mime
And with Christmas so close in merry England dear
All our ancestors are nearly always present - nearly always here.

Charlie Muss(o) Manning & Fred Manning Brothers in World War One

Book Jacket for Penguin  MM 

Top Withens  ( linked to the fictional Wuthering Heights ) on Haworth /Stanbury Moor

Landscape Boniface Musso  circa 1805
The Painter John Martin was taught in Newcastle by my GGG Grandfather Bonifacio Musso, an Italian Drawing Master and Fencing tutor from Piedmont & Florence - he eloped from Florence to England with his new wife Aurelia Grazzini ( then a nun ) and set up as a 'Tutor' in the then busy port of Newcastle Upon Tyne. He taught 'Fencing' and indeed draughtsmanship to John Dobson the Newcastle Architect and taught and took on the gifted young John Martin as his apprentice. Martin and Bonifacio became very close friends and travelled to join up with Boni's young son Charles Muss junior (1779-1824) in London - in an attempt to continue to make their living as Artists.

Robert Burns poetry cover book one by Charles Muss

above: Burns Cover book two by Charles Muss

Do we haunt ourselves ?

Post 12/11/2007
At school, aged about eight, we were sent out to draw int he summer. I chose to sit in what were then open fields in Haworth - see above - and I drew the short row of terraces to the left. Many years later In the year 2000 I came across this very drawing for the first time again after 25 years - but I came across it in the cellar of the very house I had drawn - and the house I had bought as a home- and yet I had no idea I had drawn the house and that I had drawn and recorded to paper my own future dwelling. Then 25 years later discovered the drawing in an old school folio whilst decorating in the bowels of that very house - real time travel ?

Recent evolving research about the possibility of DNA carrying ancestral memory heightens the possibility of memory and experience not being just our own. It is proposed that dormant memory locked within DNA is triggered and 'awakened' in ourselves by events we encounter ? 
If we do indeed 'hold' the memory of this past encounter - experienced by our past family - then your Father or Grandmothers genetic fear - their fear of heights due to a War experience could be triggered in you in a later life - if this is happening then surely not only trauma and negative memory will be stored but also strong positive experiences of discovery - deep connections with certain landscapes, people or spaces - 'Impressed' and released via the DNA memory. If this theory and new 9/11 research is proved to be correct then this theory opens up possible explanations for such strong instinctual senses of place    .... 'de ja vu' and strong connections between people and places and deeper time. 

Post 12.12 2005 ; Author MM 2005

TS Eliot said; ''We shall not cease from exploration - And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started - And know the place for the first time  ( Four Quartets )

below Munch's 'dance of life'



Manchester Met University delivers a unique B.A degree Creative Practice in Fine Arts and Design Practices
CP LOG  http://mackmanning.blogspot.co.uk/

'Influences; 'I Recognise the direct influence and inspiration absorbed from my own native landscape 'The West Riding' ( an often mythologised landscape ) and how that was later juxtaposed with my ten years as a  Professional Creative in North and South London '' 

Teaching has been a primary vocation since 1994 - teaching at Glasgow School of Art and Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin from the age of 25. Before returning north in 1997 to teach for ten years at the University centre Leeds Metropolitan at the Hockney Gallery and Yorkshire Crafts Centre Bradford School of Art

Manning now works full time at Manchester Metropolitan University in the Design and Fine Art department and is external examiner at UWE Bristol, UAL Camberwell School of Art & Salford and has also worked as a Review examiner for Chelsea School of Art and Cambridge Anglia Ruskin school of Art

Awarded a Bursary Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art for an M.A (RCA) in Visual Communication Illustration from 1988 to 1990. With work focused on Ecology and Graphic Art from his B.A Printmaking at Maidstone College of Art.

RCA work specialised in Ecology, Sense of place, using Print, Lithography drawing and for the times, New digital media. ( see research for Canon uk 1988)

His interest in Landscape and habitat grew from his childhood in rural Northern England and studying the Kent Landscape.

Professional design work has included commissions for Friends Of the Earth, The United Nations,The Observer,The Sunday Times,The Independent,The BBC,Penguin books and many other design organisations.

He has written articles for the Independent on Design Education and developed and advised on Art & Design programmes both in the UK and Internationally at Degree and Masters level 

Has completed valuable academic research work for Alison Crowe at the ADM research Centre in Brighton 

in Student experience and expectations
The 3E's Project – student expectations, experiences and ...John Woodman (Cumbria), Mark Manning (MMU), Barbara Thomas (Boltonwww.adm.heacademy.ac.uk › projects › ADM-HEA projects

  1. After receiving an award at the 1990 RCA Visual Communication MA show from Conrans Alan McDougall and Anita Roddick Manning was hired by the pair for the newly formed Bodyshop International Design team, Oxford Street to work on special external environmental design projects - a strand of the Roddick's lesser known work - more personal to them as a husband and wife team with Political and altruistic, educational projects - many were low key and with The United Nations. 
Other collaborations include work for The Green Party, The Labour party via The RCA Marketing dept, Fitch RS, Pan Macmillan, New Scientist, Random House, Bloomsbury, Bloodaxe, Wolf Ollins, Fitch, Adison, Sampson Tyrell, Pentagram, Simon Esterson & Mike Lackersteen and Angus Hyland.

At the RCA I was privileged to Study with 'a host of influential Peers and staff.

RCA class of 88-90 ( MA show catalogue page ) a good small year of 12 of us I think -  how times change !


Manchester Met & MIRIAD Academic Staff Profile view here; http://www.artdes.mmu.ac.uk/profile/mmanning

© 2007 Mark Manning
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