Behind the Scenes with Harley Manifold


Do you have structured studio hours when preparing for an exhibition? How do you balance being a full time artist with other aspects of life?

I try to stick to a normal 9-5, so I can come back fresh from the weekend and look at the works with ‘new eyes’. Still, when a deadline is coming up – I just paint till I am done haha! I don’t have another job, just painting for the last 5 years.

Are your artworks completely pre-planned or is there any room for chance in the making process?

This is an interesting exhibition. There are works in here that strictly adhere to what I have seen in-front of me, and there are works which edge away from reality and go towards a daydream so to speak. The later works tend to be harder, when you are changing light you are bending physics and people will notice if it’s not ‘right’ even though it’s just a painting and is flat anyway. Which is fascinating when people say I feel like I can walk right into it – job done!

In the studio what kind of music are you listening to, to keep momentum and inspiration up?

Very eclectic taste. Everything from Jon Hopkins the English electronic artist to Bach… It’s all about getting in the mood. Or putting on something so I can ‘zone out’ and just paint without thought – which can work really well or ruin a painting ahah! You can hear a lot of the music I listen to in the Instagram stories I make. A lot of the time I get people asking what is that song, it’s nice to connect on another level with people.

Who are some of Harley Manifold's favourite artists?

Too many to note, but lately Edward Hopper – the last body of work before this painting didn’t have any figures in it. Yet, I really love people and find them so endlessly fascinating – so they are back. And I think this is the best body of work I have done to date because of that!

What is next on the horizon? Where has this latest body of work lead you?

Hoping to do some live painting in Geelong before the end of the exhibition. I just love Geelong and it’s people and love being in and around it. So I cannot wait to get out there when my twisted ankle heals and get into it!

Gateway Citycontinues until March 24

Find full listing of works here