About What’s your name. It’s a symbol. Don’t talk | Gian Manik
“Fundamentally, painting explores the language of representation…My paintings are of the subject of the mirror, translated through fabrics or other more plastic or fluid reflective surfaces, to tackle the idea of ‘mirroring’ representation and translation of
image into painting.”
Gian Manik was born and raised in Western Australia, but relocated to Melbourne in 2011. Since that time his paintings have come to focus almost exclusively on reflective and mirrored surfaces, this subject matter allowing him to represent an in-between or liminal space that shifts between abstraction and representation.
Manik spent three weeks in the Pilbara during April 2017, developing a series of new paintings inspired by his surroundings. What’s your name. It’s a symbol. Don’t talk. showcases a spectacular 10-meter long canvas produced during this time, in partnership with students from Hedland Senior High School. Manik mentored around 40 students from years 6-12 in drawing and painting techniques, inviting them to work directly on to his canvas. His own impressions of the Pilbara were then over-painted to create a bold collaborative work.
“I liked the way that a section of the canvas was rolled out at a time, the children sat around and then did their work. I worked similarly, paying little attention to perspective and orientation, let alone relational aesthetics, so there is little expectation in terms of landscape/story as is expected in most mural work.” – Gian Manik
This work represents a new direction in the artist’s practice – having focused on refining a single concept for the past five years, this new site-responsive, collaborative project has resulted in a chaotic, layered aesthetic combining diverse mark-making and humorous juxtaposition.