Fion Gunn graduated from Crawford College of Art & Design, Ireland in 1980 and is represented by Peking Art Associates, Beijing and Art W in the US. She is the first Irish artist to have had a public art commission in China (stainless steel sculpture for the city of Zhangjiakou) in August 2012. http://www.fiongunn.org/sculpture-public-commissions.html Gunn's practice comprises 2D, 3D, installation and curatorial projects which can be viewed on this site . Her most recent solo show was held in Slupsk, Poland in October-November 2014. She was one of 3 artists exhibiting in 'The Painted Thread' exhibition in Beijing 2016 and was a guest artist in the 'On Paper' exhibition curated by Chang Feng in Ordos and Guangzhou in 2017. Her work is currently featured in 'Slow' an exhibition in Beijing from Dec/Jan 2018. She will have a solo show in Beijing in April as well as co curating and participating in 'Excavations' a show sponsored by Dublin City Council as apart of the Dublin/Beijing Twinning Programme. She is an invited artist for 'Mortaged Time' an exhibition at RedGate Gallery, Beijing and 'On Paper' Shanghai also scheduled for April.
INTIMATE TRANSGRESSIONS PROJECT http://www.intimatetransgressionsproject.com/ She is the proposal writer, lead curator and featured artist for the above international touring exhibition.The starting point for Intimate Transgressions is the plight of the Comfort Women and it aims to raise awareness of the impact of sexual violence as a military strategy. and in general.
Intimate Transgressions Exhibitions to date: Whitebox , New York,2015 Inter Gallery, 798 Arts District, Beijing, 2015 Hangzhou Library Exhibition Space, Hangzhou, 2016. Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, 2016
She has established ongoing links with many Chinese partners, artists, curators and venues and has initiated numerous successful collaborations showing Irish and Chinese artists together in London and Cork as well as in China.
AWARDS Since 2005 Gunn’s projects have been awarded substantial grants from Irish and UK funding bodies: Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, Crafts Council of Ireland, Cork City Council, Arts Council Northern Ireland and Arts Council England. See details of recent awards on Home/News page http://www.fiongunn.org/
In London (Oct 2015), she curated ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, an international exhibition showcasing contemporary art inspired by poetry, in collaboration with the Leyden Gallery. Also in London (May 2012), as part of the Cultural Olympiad, she curated ‘The City and The City – Contested Space’ an exhibition exploring the nature of urban experience by artists from the UK, China, Ireland, France and Zambia, who are women.
In September 2009 Gunn co-curated the first ever collaborative Irish and Chinese Exhibition in the UK – BIGsmall: ’Intimate Histories’ at Bow Arts Trust, London with Irish artist Ray Murphy co-founder of BIGsmall Artists.
BIGsmall Artists promotes collaborative projects between different communities and cultures both inside and outside the UK with an emphasis on the artist as curator.
In 2009 Gunn also co-founded Streatham Women’s Sewing Group CIC (2009-2015) where she is was coordinator and chair of the Board. Art collaborations such as ‘Somali Feast’ and ‘Hair Routes’, ‘Spice Tent’ and 'The Dress My Mother Wore' in 2014 were the backbone of her work with the Group. http://sewinginstreatham.weebly.com/
COLLECTIONS: private & corporate collections in UK, France, Ireland & China including Ministry of Justice, Ireland, Atkins Chambers, CBX Building Management Ltd, Treasury Holdings China, Fairmay Solicitors, MBI inc, Chinese Embassy in London & Dublin, Embassy of Ireland Beijing, Tsinghua Fine Arts Museum (under construction), Baltic Contemporary Gallery - Poland, Peking Fine Arts Associates, Art W Foundation (New York)
WRITING Gunn was guest editor for the 2015 Spring Edition of ArtZip Contemporary Art Magazine (bilingual English/Chinese) http://www.artzip.org/ writing on the theme of the artist as curator.
STATEMENT One of the key issues in Fion Gunn’s practice is her desire to understand and analyse the extremity of our human experience, what it means for us as individuals and as a global society and to reflect on the possibilities of effecting change.
Her art practice encompasses mixed media paintings & collages, Large & small scale sculptures, performance/installations which explore the perversity of human behaviour and its destructive legacy while celebrating the diverse and complex nature of our response to landscape, aesthetics and our deeply, often unconsciously, embedded cultural identities. Many of her works contrast the sophistication of our cultural structures with the profound tribal savagery we can show to those perceived as ‘other’ and metaphorically poses the question of how our world society would appear if viewed from another planet.
Gunn is interested in the relationship between our most profound, most personal experiences and the macro narrative of history – we are small vulnerable people who get caught up in appalling natural disasters, global wars and smaller, no less vicious wars too, ones that echo the most intimate familial conflicts.
Working collaboratively with other artists, landscape architects, writers etc. is central to Gunn's work. Her desire is to create art which promotes inclusion ,engages and inspires both fellow artists and the public alike, enabling people from different cultures and backgrounds to encounter one another in dynamic and meaningful ways. The philosophy of unity through diversity is fundamental to her work, informing her both her artistic and curatorial practice.
Born and raised in Cork, having lived in France and for many years being a London resident, Gunn’s own personal narrative has its touch points with national and international histories in a way that is common to many people. She recognises the distortions and the biases which we share when interpreting these narratives and how important (and difficult) it is for us to investigate our own motivation and challenge it.
Her investigation is carried out through the lens of visual art, remaining open-ended, as she looks beneath the surface of contemporary ‘civilised’ social life to uncover the assumptions and the ignorance which keep us from a full and true understanding of how the world works.