Jemma Gunning

Artist in Residence 2022 / 23

Jemma Gunning, a print maker based in Bristol is the Festival’s third Artist in Residence. Her practice explores the documentation of urban and industrial decline. She is fascinated with recording the passage of time evoked with nostalgic and the questions that arise around lost and forgotten landscapes. She feels that urban exploration and documenting architectural decline re-connects the present day to the past and is a way of recording our heritage before it vanishes from our society.

Drawing underpins my practice and informs her printmaking processes. Specialising in etching and lithography, these methods resonate with the subjects she documents. They show an enforced decay, whereby acids erode metal and physically alter the surface of a limestone, echoing the natural decay of the architectural forms she draws.

Since being Artist in Residence and walking many miles, I have taken an interest in geology, mapping, and mining practices. I have spent time drawing quarries, trying to understand the rock formations but more importantly recording the scarring of the landscape which is evident around every corner. Each quarry, mine, and mill represents a different world, a different time zone, some far longer than humans have been on the planet.

Back in her studio in Bristol she will transfer the large drawings she has made, whilst in Wirksworth, into exhibition prints.

…documenting architectural decline re-connects the present day to the past. I increasingly feel this is important and a way of recording our heritage…