Born Manja Crnkovic in Zagreb, Croatia, Manja spent many years living in Ethiopia, Zambia, and Kenya, before moving to the UK in 1982.
”Of the many influences on my work, three stand out,” she says. “One is my early training as a dancer and a choreographer in the Laban method. The relationship between forms – their rhythm, colour and texture – is something which can be physically felt. Each work is a journey of exploration and discovery, from the first mark through to its completion.
”Another important influence on my work is the nearly 20 years I spent living in Africa. Living on a farm there, I was close to nature and had the freedom to make something from nothing. I could pick up an array of objects in the bush and make them into something beautiful. So, for me, African craft and art was an inspiration. It was in Africa that I began making my own wall hangings and lino prints.
”Finally, when I returned to Europe in my 30s, I had the opportunity to experience galleries full of modern, international art, which was all new and very exciting to me.
”I worked for many years as a textile designer, supplying designs for the fashion and furnishing industries throughout the world, which allowed me to explore a wide variety of techniques and different media. Since 1998, my focus has been entirely on drawing, printmaking and painting. The interplay between line, form and colour, and how the relationship is changed by the medium used, continues to fascinate me.
2000 National Print Exhibition. Mall Galleries, London. Joint winner – Julian Trevelyan Award
Oxford Art Weeks
Affordable Art Fair
Art on Paper Fair. Royal College of Art, London
Battersea Contemporary Art Fair, London
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
SW1 Gallery, London
New Ashgate Gallery. Farnham
Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
Art and Architecture Gallery, London
Sewell Centre Gallery. Radley College, Oxfordshire
2019 Works on Paper. Arundel Contemporary, Arundel, W. Sussex, UK
2018 Mixed Christmas Exhibition. Arundel Contemporary, Arundel, W. Sussex, UK
2018 Works on Paper. Arundel Contemporary, Arundel, W. Sussex, UK
2017 Works on Paper. Arundel Contemporary, Arundel, W. Sussex, UK