ROOTS Born in 1951, in Kimmirut, Nunavut. Manning’s parents moved to Cape Dorset when he was still an infant.
WHEN AND HOW HE GOT STARTED Began taking pictures with an Instamatic in 1968.
INFLUENCES His grandfather, Peter Pitseolak, was an early influence: “At [that] time it amazed me, because he used to carry something in his hand that clicked, which happened to be a camera ... he showed us the results after a day or two in his little house ... and that got me thinking how great it was to document what was going on in the area” (Manning in Adams 200b:14).
MEDIA Mainly photography (black and white and colour ), but he occasionally sketches and carves.
THEMES “Though he photographs primarily in and around Cape Dorset, Manning’s work is diverse, ranging from portraiture to landscape. All of his photos, however, are marked by a distinctive and coherent vision. Neither strictly documentary in nature, nor totally driven by aesthetics… An important branch of his oeuvre is associated with the co-op; he has documented the daily lives of the artists at work in its studios since the early 1970s” (Adams 2000b:14-15).
HOW HE WORKS “Manning’s primary concern is to capture things as they appear, with as little physical manipulation as possible," says Adams (p. 16). She quotes Manning: “It’s very important to have things natural. I’d rather shoot when they’re natural.”
FORMAL ART TRAINING Primarily self-taught, Manning attended workshops conducted by photographers John Reeves and Ian Murray in Cape Dorset in the 1970s.
CAREER He worked as a carving buyer for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (1972-92). He has also served on its board of directors. Currently, he manages the printmaking shop in Cape Dorset and acts as a guide for photographers travelling to the area.
ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT “The early work was mostly colour [film]. In the mid-1970s… black and white [film] started to interest me, so I did some then” (Manning in Adams 2000a:22).
UNIQUENESS “Photography is the medium in which he chooses to work most of the time. In the wider context of Inuit art, this constitutes a bold artistic statement” (Adams 2000b:14).
[For citations, Selected Exhibitions & References ]