‘The emotions of a place are paced by the scientist in her, but uttered by the powerful visual language she uses to birth the stories we urgently need to action’ - Matéria Cíclica
Grace Emily Manning b. 1992 is an artist from suburban London who grew up in Greenhithe by the River Thames in North West Kent.
Grace studied Experimental Animation at the Royal College of Art and Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.
Grace’s work is environmentally driven, highly experimental, alchemical and surrealist at heart.
She crafts world-building projects that move from fieldwork to fantasy brought to life through sculpture, illustration, animation and performance.
Working in a site-specific way Grace researches into the history, folklore and current ecology of a landscape. In response Grace creates poems, songs, stories, sound pieces, drawings, paintings, puppets and models to animate her fantasies.
Exploring a more wild reality and ideas for how to be with and restore earth.
Grace’s fictional worlds are crafted from found objects, waste materials and natural matters gathered from the landscapes she is responding to. Used alongside a growing palette of site-sensitive art materials such as natural dyes, paints, botanical inks and bioplastics.
Her works embody the voice of the land through time and in turn explore her own emotional landscape.
Grace founded GEM Eco Studio in 2022 to house her work made for stage and screen, art and heritage projects.
Developed with the commitment to make the most eco-friendly choices for each project possible. Using natural, reclaimed, repurposed and recycled materials, plant dyes and natural bio-based art materials in her work.
Grace’s work in response to the climate crisis was showcased at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the London Design Festival 2021 in a short video ‘Designers on Sustainability’ showcasing her practice.
Click here to watch.
In 2016 Grace received the Sally Goldsworthy Bursary Award from Discover Children's Story Centre. She was nominated by award winning childrens and young adults author Sita Brahmachari after working together to produce the Kite Spirit installation for Pop Up Festivals of Stories.
Following Grace made animated book trailers for publishers Macmillian and Barrington Stoke for Sita’s stories Red Leaves and Worry Angels. Running stop-motion animation workshops at Discover Story Centre began her journey in becoming a facilitator for art and animation workshops for young people.
Recently she has been working in Cornwall with artist Andrew Whittle and Beach Guardian developing experimental work with waste plastics and running workshops with local schools making large scale collaborative sculptures to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean.
Beach Guardian workshop with St Merryn School, Padstow 2021
All work and images © Grace Emily Manning 2023