Fion Gunn – TIMELINE TOURIST
The Witches’ Tower , October 24th, 2014, at 6.00 p.m.
The exhibition will be open till November 11th 2014.
Fion Gunn has just curated and featured in BIGsmall: ‘IRISH WAVE 2014 series of Irish/Chinese collaborative art exhibitions for the fifth time as part of the Irish Festival in both Beijing and Shanghai. She has directed IRISH WAVE in China since 2010 and 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
She is represented by The Barbara Stanley Gallery in London.
In this body of work Gunn explores the changing balance of global/cultural tourism, how we engage with our personal and societal histories, realities of where we live and the experience of unfamiliar, often very different cultures. This exploration also has a metaphorical dimension: our past, present and future becoming ‘different countries’ as we journey through our personal timelines. When we ‘visit’ the past we do so as tourists in our own lives and the lives of those around us, we often experience displacement, grief, loss and idealised memories simultaneously.
At a time when Europe seems to be revisiting the cultural divisions, old grudges and old confrontations, it is timely for us to remember the damage done to so many communities across centuries of battle, ethnic cleansing and the tragedy of the displaced. New generations, ignorant of the true cost of conflict are ready to fall into the deadly embrace of war again.
Using painterly techniques with digital imagery, personal photographs as well as images taken from books & magazines and online sources ‘Timeline Tourist’ combines the private and the public to create a narrative that is both personal and universal.
The history of Ustka in the province of Pomerania with its rugged coastline and ancient cities of Gdansk and Szczecin, its wartime ravages, brutal expulsions and the continual redrawing of its borders lies at the heart of this exhibition, reinforcing its meaning and its relevance.
For Gunn, who is known for her cross-cultural collaborations in China and the UK, the artists’ residency at the Baltic Centre for Creative Activities is a very important way of engaging with the audiences of the European Community.