English sculptor, video artist, filmmaker and installation artist. She began making and exhibiting film and video works soon after graduating in sculpture from Falmouth School of Art in 1987. She moved to London and had made a number of video works by the time she had completed an MFA at Goldsmiths College in 1994. Much in Gunning's videos references early works by video artists such as Bruce Nauman, but her focus on formal actions is overlaid by the complexities of metaphor and humour in situations that determine their own language and structure. For another video seven and a half minutes in length, The Horse Impressionists (1994), she filmed five women doing realistic imitations of a neighing horse. In this and subsequent works attention is given to the human voice and its elementary social role in our existence. With uncompromising directness Gunning's films focus upon the voice in the realm of the sensual, the unconscious and the uncontrolled. For Malcolm, Lloyd, Angela, Norman, Jane (installed London, Matt's Gal., 1997) she filmed individual conversations she had with people suffering from speech impediments. As an installation this piece was choreographed across five separate monitors. In all her installations Gunning resists the seduction of new presentation formats, choosing instead old television sets displayed in a number of quasi-domestic sculptural arrangements incorporating tables and chairs. The importance of the furniture was later developed to the extent that she began making pieces that do not include a video element.
Lucy Gunning: Persistence of Vision (exh. cat. by R. Anastas, Boston, MA, Sch. Mus. F.A., 1996)
Lucy Gunning (exh. cat. by D. Robinson, Cardiff, Chapter A., 1998)
27 March 2001