Written by Chelsea McPherson
At 20 years old, Ashleigh Manley knew his calling was to be an artist.
Originally from Adelaide, he and his wife Kate lived on the Gold Coast for 20 years before deciding
to travel further north, and by chance, they stopped in Hervey Bay.
It took them only three days to settle here, after spotting a vacant shopfront that is now Luxe and
Ashleigh’s art gallery.
Ashleigh has been creating magnificent works of art for a long time, and many of his work comes to life in watercolour.
“I think it’s very expressive, very flexible,” he said.
Ashleigh says that watercolours have luminosity and transparency, which he finds is excellent for getting an idea down quickly.
But he also finds other mediums pose an excellent challenge, such as acrylic, which he was working in when I came to chat with him.
“All mediums have their advantages,” Ashleigh said.
When I questioned what draws him to create the work he does, he told me that he believes one of the roles of an artist is to reflect where they are.
Their artwork must have something behind it, a focus.
“You don’t have to see it visually, but you have to have something in your heart to say.”
Ashleigh is inspired by the landscape of Hervey Bay and wherever he travels, and when he paints, he does so to get the essence of the scene, rather than to replicate it.
While Ashleigh has done shows and exhibitions before, nowadays he is content with the Hervey Bay
gallery, where he can have a chat with the locals and take commissions.
But he didn’t rule out the potential for more.
“I always like to think I might have a show somewhere else.”
Ashleigh can be found down at the Ashleigh Manley Studio Gallery, attached to his wife’s beautiful clothing store Luxe.
You can find out more about him at http://www.ashleighmanley.com or you can pop down for a chat.