Manu Berry | BIO < back to artists


Born in Otago in 1978, he lived in St Bathans as a child, growing up in a creative environment ` his mother is a well-established Otago painter and printmaker, and noted artist Grahame Sydney is a long time family friend. The family then moved to Dunedin, where he attended art school after travelling round New Zealand. However he found that he had a strong sense of where he was going with his art and struck out on his own after a year at art school, much like Wayne Seyb whose woodcuts inspired him to work in that very direct medium.

Manu moved this year from Dunedin to Wellington, and this led to the North Island work. His work is unique for its power, impression of fine detail, and his expressive use of layered colour created by wiping some of the ink off before printing, and layering other colours over, so that each print in the very limited edition is a slight variation – like a monoprint.

He particularly concentrates on woodcuts rather than oil painting because the process is defined and doesn’t allow the artist to go back and change the work or put more in: he says it suits his "slightly impatient temperament".

Manu Berry has exhibited regularly in galleries around New Zealand, particularly in the South Island, since 2000, in solo and group shows and was a prizewinner in the Mainland Art Awards in 2005 with his woodcut Butterfly Effect.