Gillian Mann was a feminist, an artist, an art teacher.

She was born on 11 May 1939 at The Hollow, Littleover, Derby, England and was the only daughter of Charles Barton Mann (a journalist) and Beryl Watson (a private secretary and journalist during WWII).

Despite an early interest and talent with Art as a child, she embarked on a temporary career in the Royal Women’s Navy (WRENS) as a dental nurse. After 4 years, she decided that art was her future and educated herself at the Lancaster College of Art and later the Leicester College of Art. In this period she married and had her only child Julian Mann. Her marriage ended in disaster, however, she recovered an married again and shortly after migrated to Canberra, Australia in 1971.

In 1972, she was employed as Lecturer in Art Diploma Studies at the Canberra School of Art where she excelled as a teacher and gave her the financial freedom to explore her own art.

Printmaking dominated Gillian's early body of works from the 1960s to the early 1990s, culminating in winning the 1990 Blake Prize for Religious Art with the woodcut print titled The Chest. In this period she also progressed her themes in glass sculptures. Many examples of her art can be viewed in her Gallery.

Unwelcome disruption to her lecturing career at the Canberra School of Art, forced a change in paths. Her tools of metal, acids, inks and wood was replaced with computer technology, as she moved into the digital art world.

Gillian's art is primarily concerned with the different visual languages used throughout Western history. Her use of iconography and mediums is informed by an awareness of the meanings they hold within art history and the 'collective memory' of the West. Her practice has been imbued with a social conscience, moulded by a childhood in post-war England, and the social activism of the 1960s. Feminism in the 1970s informed her deconstruction of gender and power in the West and has shaped her practice ever since. Read more...

In the late 1990s, Gillian retired and transported a 1920s house from Canberra to the small NSW town of Binalong (about 100km north west of Canberra) where she preferred the surrounds of a small community. Her artistic output did not slow down she involved herself in many community activities. In 2007, after her successful Cardinal's Head exhibition, where she produced a large body of works from her experimentations with solar etchings, Gillian was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  She died shortly after in Canberra with her family by her side on 29 December 2007.  She is survived by her son, Julian Mann and a grand daughter Lila Mann.