Caitlyn Manning

Caitlyn Manning

Painter/Art Tutor
Master of Visual Arts
Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours)
Bachelor of Visual Arts

She always had her sights set on studying at AUT, says art and design alumna Caitlyn Manning who came to AUT to study visual arts.

“There was no other contender in my eyes. AUT has a great reputation for its art and design courses and facilities. I developed a huge interest in art towards the end of high school, and I enjoyed anything hands-on and visual. I loved painting class, photography, art design, graphics and media studies. Colour, patterns, mark making, and gesture were of huge interest to me before I fully understood their significance in contemporary abstract painting.”

Studying visual arts helped her find her voice as an artist.

“My three years in the Bachelor of Visual Arts were very experimental, specifically the first year where we had exposure to different mediums before selecting a major.

“I majored in painting and minored in experimental textiles. Fast forward to today, I’m interested in exploring a territory of visual aesthetic shock. I start painting in a way that I know, through layering colour, gesture, line and grids. The habit of painting gets the momentum going. I then disrupt and wrestle with these rhythms, exploring new forms of expression and juxtapositions. Painting in this way offers possibility for new aesthetic and affectual experiences to occur.”

Supported to thrive
Caitlyn wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s visual arts programmes to other students.

“I would 100% recommend studying visual arts. I would go back and do it all over again. I created life-long friendships, enjoyed learning in such a supportive community, loved the gallery visits and guest speakers, and felt very lucky to have my own studio. The programme has a great balance between written assignments and practical work.

“I loved having access to the range of labs, facilities and resources on offer, including a 2D print room, book binding studio, dark room, 3D lab, wet lab, computer labs, a library and more. It was a safe space to learn and try new things, with no right or wrong answer, just expanding your skillsets and exercising curiosity. I also enjoyed talk week, which is a fantastic opportunity later on in your studies to share conversations with other creatives and gain critical feedback about your own work.”

The academic staff were another highlight of her time at AUT, particularly during her master’s degree.

“I appreciated all the support from my supervisors Simon McIntyre, Dieneke Jansen, Dr Ingrid Boberg and Jeena Shin, and the other visual arts staff. They are the most intellectual, friendly, and inspiring people and artists. They come with a wealth of knowledge, and provide such a safe and supportive space for you as an individual and as an artist.”

Life as an artist
Since completing her Master of Visual Arts in 2021, Caitlyn now enjoys making and learning as an artist.

“I’m actively painting from my home studio with the goal to exhibit more, while working as an art educator at multiple venues across Tāmaki Makaurau. I’m passionate about encouraging creativity in children and helping them understand visual art processes and techniques from a young age.”

She has already had a number of proud achievements in her career as an artist.

“I’ve exhibited work at Odd Even in High Street as part of Auckland’s City of Colour, as well as at Depot Artspace in ‘Palpable Layers’ and in Matakana. I’m also proud of being featured on the cover of Ngau Mamae, the publication of the New Zealand Pain Society Inc, and in Passage: A Conversation between Art and Pain (at TARPS).”