About Manu

I was first introduced to the wonder of batik as a visiting musician to The Gambia, West Africa, where I instantly identified with batik as a cultural art form that I wanted to explore.

Since then my wax pot has been one of the things that has always come with me wherever I have lived and over the years as well as exhibiting my work and teaching professionally I have also shared batik with many friends and family members and batik has increasingly become part of my family life.

My paintings reflect my passion for the glorious and colourful diversity of People and Planet serving as an ally to my musical creations invoking words and images that are sympathetic to people in their efforts to survive in a rapidly changing world.

My work as a Community Artist has got really exciting over recent years and I've been working collaboratively with many diverse groups - from primary school children to young adults who aren't in education or employment, from Grandparents to people with physical, emotional and educational challenges. Creating group pieces has proven to be deeply rewarding and the collaborative efforts yield wonderful results.

Most recently, I have been revisiting an exploration of light through batik with my daughter, Amber Song, who is also a batik artist. We have been creating hand made batik lampshades - an idea I first experimented with almost 40 years ago. This time, I'm also creating the lamps by recrafting salvaged antique furniture to complement the original batik shades.

My love for batik as a medium endures and my recent experiences working in the community on collaborative projects as well as the lighting project have inspired me with a new found energy to create beauty.

With much of my earlier work I aspired to make meaningful statements about the world as a form of artistic activism. In contrast, as an artistic response to the world as it is today, I simply endeavour to create a little more beauty.