Tuesday, September 29, 2015

People Profile: Douglas McManus.

I first met Douglas McManus last year and quickly becoming aware of how grossly talented this man is, and he soon became one of my favourite mentors. 

Douglas McManus is one of Australia's leading textile artists with recent exhibitions at the MONA dark mofo festival (laundry of the terminal psyche) and the CRAFT gallery (conversation of gentlemen) while also having works among the NGV permanent collection. Douglas' artworks are monumental sculptural installations that explore his concepts of men, masculinity and emotional states of being. His work is dark and striking, yet it has an ethereal ambience and beauty. He uses digital technology to create delicate pieces of artwork that will leave you awestruck. 

Douglas is someone I have wanted to interview for a while (because I don't think he could ever give a boring answer) and his upcoming exhibition Surrender at Fort Delta gave me an excuse.

- Alessandra 

What makes you the happiest? 
 Being in my studio making art, exploring textile ideas using my new high end TROTEC laser cutter.

What are you most excited about right now?  
The arrival of the lix smallest 3d drawing pen I purchased as part of a pozzible campaign. (Yes I'm a tech nerd).

When did you realise textiles and art was something you wanted to pursue? 
Way back at art school when I started putting fabric through print presses. I was so excited by the effects I created my whole printmaking folio out of fabric instead of traditional paper (to the horror of my lecturers) but I didn't care. The switch landed me a residency in Melbourne after graduating and ever since I've been passionate about textiles as medium for art practice.  

What is a fashion fad that you look back on and cringe?
Cut-off denim shorts (I mean really, really arse flashing short).  God I used to wear a pair when I first started lecturing in textiles at RMIT University. What was I thinking?!

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from life experiences and interactions with other creative minds. I try not to think too much but just make. My latest show Surrender is about giving in to the process and going with whatever happens.

When do you feel most creative?

Just before dawn after doing yoga, I like the space between dark and light, it is where one can be still. This is when creative ideas come to me.

Do you think there is a difference between art and fashion? 
Depends on your definition of art and fashion. I mean my favourite designer Alexander McQueen crosses boundaries with his extraordinary vision. I think identifying and labeling something fashion, art , design or craft is irrelevant for me.

If a biography was to be written about you what would it be called?
Confessions of The Glass Collector 

I'm intrigued...Why Confessions of The Glass Collector? 
Oh because the first job I had when I came to Melbourne was collecting glasses at an infamous gay pub, where I was able to meet some amazing men who became the catalyst for many early textile art pieces including hair couture 2000 acquired by the NGV.

Okay, please write that book!
Where would you be if you could be anywhere right now? 
Berlin, I love that city.  

What is your favourite thing about Melbourne?  
The creative energy that exists here. Everyone is involved in some project/performance/space. It amazes me the amount of talent in Melbourne.

*Mosaik does not take credit for any of the images used in this article

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