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Visual arts artist

Lyndsay Mann

Current Work

Lyndsay Mann received individual Creative and Professional Development Funding from the Scottish Arts Council, 2007/08.


"Peer relationships are based on symmetry, power relationships are based on asymmetry."
Leland R. Beaumont

Lyndsay Mann is concerned with the most fundamental aspects of our experience, desire and dread, faith and futility.

Her practice can be viewed as existing at the intersection of two individual characters; one providing a cognitive approach, working as inventor and researcher of a projected system created from both connection and coincidence. The other as a potential believer of this proposed ‘system in progress’, as an artist physically exploring the manifesto and adopting the aesthetic derived, with a desire to understand, belong or exact insight.

Unconditional Interest. Lyndsay Mann, 2008

By researching the impact of extreme political circumstances upon behaviour and desire - often through the personal accounts of writers such as Solzhenitsyn and Primo Levi – Mann takes both an emotional and pragmatic route to understanding how more subtle aspects manifest themselves and influence everyday reality. She has an interest in the roles that belief and chance play in this process.

Current Work

Her current body of work has been developed through pursuing connections between the non-threatening familiarity of pop culture, advertising and film, and more overt structures of control.  She is particularly intrigued by those social and domestic control structures explored by 19th century writers such as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Flaubert.

Mann often employs labour-intensive processes in her work; intricate hand-cut lettering, detailed carving, hand-tinted posters, using simple and inexpensive materials to suggest an environment of appropriation and a submission to process, manipulating familiar materials removed from their common context to simulate a ritual.

Selective Interest. Lyndsay Mann, 2008

Reductive and structured drawings have been developed from the time Mann spent working in Munich in response to the Rubens collection at the Alte Pinakothek. By focusing on the formal relationships which create tension and rhythm within Rubens’ paintings, they become a springboard to deconstruct and abstract visual references.

Untitled. Lyndsay Mann, 2008

During her time with the International Studio Residency at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios in Dublin, Mann developed new models and drawings in response to her research visits to the city’s museums to examine the displays of various symbols, stories and associations pertaining to faith.

Her time looking at religious paraphernalia and the adaptation of objects within ritual and ceremony, also led to an interest in early scientific apparatus, in particular the sense of each object’s aesthetic and form revealed by developments that function and experimentation demanded.


Mann’s writing, which is integral to her practice, falls somewhere between a manifesto and a self-help text, taking the form of suggested hypotheses or possibilities, neither definitive nor absolute. Abstracted from larger texts, she creates mantra-style soundbites within the works.

In her banner Selective Interest / Unconditional Interest, written in English and French, there is a rhythm created by the double format which repeats but objects to a singular reading. By using language in this way, she plays with the subtleties which often vary by translation, and the aspects of power dictated by this understanding.

Untitled. Lyndsay Mann, 2008

Mann is currently interested in bringing together previously separate elements to focus on the relationships created through the direct contact of formal sculptural structures often built with ritualised materials, and more emotive personal texts.

In order to further explore the dynamic of relationships between object and experience she is also developing work with sound at her current residency at Stills in Edinburgh. 


In other new work Mann has created an insignia invented from extrapolated forms of an icosahedron - one of the five Platonic solids which has no symmetry - this is the object that provides the 20 different answers from inside the pop-cult Magic 8 Ball prediction game.

The Overlook, Part 2. Lyndsay Mann, 2007

Its varying forms create a rhythm and repetition throughout Mann’s installations, the structure of which, in its ‘rested’ state as she calls it, is reminiscent of Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon. This architectural form designed to encourage self policing, with a central point from which to view all other cells, Bentham himself described as ‘a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind’.

For Mann, combining the multi-dimensional elements of her practice creates a dialogue which the viewer interrupts and becomes party to. The works become complete once installed, the viewer becoming a third member within the created dynamic to produce event, experience, and witness.


Lyndsay Mann studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art in London. Mann has lived and worked in various cities, spending six months in Berlin in 2006/07, and most recently Dublin after she was selected for the International Studio Residency 2008 at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios. She has been invited to show at FOUR gallery, Dublin in 2009.

Based in Edinburgh, she is currently participating in the Stills residency programme.

Mann has exhibited widely throughout the UK, including ‘SURVEY’, Royal Scottish Academy, 2007, ‘Coolhunting’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2005,  and ‘Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City…’ Cardiff, 2004.

Related Links
* Lyndsay Mann website
* Stills Gallery
* FOUR, Dublin
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