self-portrait in yellow

Self-portrait in yellow, 2017. Ink and gouache on paper. 21cm x 16.8cm

The process of drawing is fundamental to Simon Manfield’s practice and is representational in nature, often portraying the figure within a landscape or the quiet landscape alone. 

His drawings are recollections, delineations of memory. They are narrative; stories made up of time and observation; comprising layers and line, detail upon detail. The marks define volume, describing density, texture and light, intertwining and holding form together like the sewn thread of a garment, or like contour lines on a map. They are the transference of knowledge gained over time; evidence of space and terrain walked and experienced, triggering memory, stopping and looking again.

The Hepworth

The Hepworth, Wakefield. Photograph © Petra McCarthy

The methodology is important. He takes time over what he creates, taking time to contemplate the world inhabited by his subjects. Research is integral to the process. He hopes the observer will pause, look deep within the drawn lines, the tonal spaces, to make up their own minds, to construct their own stories, meanings and imaginings. But have patience; this realisation may not be immediate.

Curriculum vitae

Orcadians: Seven Impromptus, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, 2016. Photograph © Howard Ramsay

Solo exhibitions

2020 Space and solidarity, Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
2017 Orcadians: Seven Impromptus, Artsmill, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
Orcadians: Seven Impromptus, Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Scotland, UK. As part of the StAnza Poetry Festival
2016 Orcadians: Seven Impromptus, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
2014 Memoria Histórica, Artsmill, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
2010 Lines of Memory, Atrium Gallery, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
2007 Memoria Histórica, The Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, UK
2006 Memoria Histórica, Gallery II, University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
2005 Memoria Histórica, Artsmill, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
2005 Memoria Histórica, Librería Cervantes, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. Funded by the British Council
2005 Memoria Histórica, Casa de Cultura, Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain. Funded by the British Council
2004 Memoria Histórica, Imperial War Museum North, Salford, Manchester, UK. Funded by the British Council and Arts Council England

Selected Bibliography

2016 Orcadians: Seven Impromptus – George Mackay Brown. Kettillonia, Angus, Scotland,UK
2013 A School for Design Fiction – James Langdon. Spector Books, Leipzig, Germany.
2012 Amongst other things an unsuccessful proposal for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan. CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow/Eastside Projects, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
2012 The Spanish Holocaust – Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-century Spain – Paul Preston. Harper Press, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, London, United Kingdom.
2008 The Art of Living – Edwina fitzPatrick. Aye-Aye Books in association with CCA, Glasgow and Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom.
2008 Memoria y Reconstrucción de la Paz – Rosa Medina Domenech, Beatriz Molina Rueda, María García-Miguel (Eds.). Los Libros de la Catarata, Madrid, Spain.
2007 A Charming Meaning, A Solid Meaning, A Struggling Meaning – Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan. DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, Köln, Germany.


My work is represented in public and private collections most notably the collaborative work with Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan in the Collection Maurizio Morra Greco, Naples, Italy, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Rhode Island, USA and the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA.