Gunningham’s large – (as in both terms of the sense: i) As defined by the Scold-Pool Scale in terms of scale, and ii) Taking into account the influential variances of a) chance, b) supermarket slips and c) rushwalls) – impressive canvases are first of all fashioned and beaten from designated layers of gappy pigment and gesso and punctuated by chance-would-be-a-fine-thing occurrences in the westerned surface as the rocky canvas splits like a wash and cracks open like a nutshell muse during the painful, though impishly prescient, drying process. As the heavily worked and motivated gesso is ever-so-blindly waxed and polished, the artist (or, perhaps more appropriately – [taking into account her age, social status (vis a vis and especially through that husband of hers), coattail hangings and lady-of-leisurely return to study as a result of a) being easily able to afford it, and b) having nothing else to do but indulge, indulge, indulge and give sense of urgency status to all manner of knocking witterings and tweets] – artist-manqué) regains a studied self-important sense of control as the areas of the surface become (amazingly) reflective, inviting a dialogue (dialogue! we ask you!) between scopophilic voyeur types – like you (and yours) and near (un)identified objects. The almost, but not quite, blackness and white, fissured ground suggests resentful resilience and delicacy and the rich, mannered pigment brings extraordinary depth and scaleable solemnity to the by now positively Faustinially ironic canvas. Gunnerton’s work is deeply, thoroughly and wholeheartedly moving (as in, i.e., through its 1. Emotional reach [on levels that neither the audience nor the fee-paying backers and prostitutional patrons could hope to understand] and 2. ‘Moving’ as in through the attempts to move forward – or even backwards – with, at the very least, the certainty of taking part in a flux or fusing with a tangible and palpably resplendent state of shiver and shake) in its attempt to arrest time, turn back the tides, accommodate (once again) flux (or, better still, work with the idealised, and stylised, post-Guillotine notion of ‘change/chang/chan/cha/ch/c’ as filtered through the glassy-eyed stare-system of the Danish School of Tripple-Down) and root itself inside and out by burrowing deep below the surface where, let’s face it, the likes of you (and all the thoughts you have ever held) reside. Moreover, Gunnhilde’s work possesses (before the pre-exorcism nub, at least) the monochromatic and black and whiteian discipline of Pencil Dans-Poosher and the disturbingly meticulous abstraction (via nu-metal bashings and sinks) of Locksley Lange. That, in itself – and notwithstanding the puffery obligates – cannot be a bad thing and is where, moreover, the locus lies by way of the tomfoolery and buffoonery that is a consistent, yet somehow always surprising, element of the work on display here – if, indeed, ‘display’ is the correct term for what is closer to a kind of gathering-happening/event-be-in thing.
By confronting, head-on, her as-yet-undiagnosed tapephobia (through the ironic burrowings and buried-aliveness of the actual, physical reality of her paint – which seems to sit beneath the canvas’s surface, desperately seeking escape) Gunnhoffer’s courage is permanently, and unironically – courageously, in fact – on display (if, indeed, ‘display’ etc…) for all to see. Organised around the central trope of what Stalin-Satin magazine has described as “hidden depths”, this entire exhibition/display/event gains added relevancy from its literal, concrete siting within a unique artspace unit that has heretofore existed as a kind of convergent area for local arts and crafts types operating within their own pre-defined – and determinedly backward-looking – realms. Working as a kind of three-dimensional, if you will, palimpsest, this unique artspace unit – the DoveSwanDove Gallery of St Peter’s Church Hall – affords the visitor the opportunity to experience Gunndaffer’s work within the framework (i.e. the space) of existing work by way of the still visible ‘amateurhour’ artobjects in the form of, e.g. watercolours and etc., by the various dizzies, crones and nutbags who constitute the local designated, and parish council funded, art foundation area/pondscum set-up co-op that has, for many years, been the bridge between the art truths of the urban dynamism of multicultural nous and wicked wisdom, and the more stoneaged fripperies and flitterings that come from the rural, backward, right-wing enclaves that, as we all know, make up the post-colonial, post-war, post-dynamic method of the countryside. In fact, Gunntester subverts the whole countryside relationship thingy by converting the implicit to the explicit through the asking (in the preparatory art notes accompanying the hand-lettered, individually numbered, steam-embossed exhibition catalogue) of what she believes to be one of the most fundamental questions of our time, thus: “Why do you think they call it the country?” And before, of course, the potential viewer/reader has time to ponder this question, or dance around its implied inferences vis a vis the whole business of rural conflations and heady juxtapositions – or even begin to formulate an answer that could reasonably be expected to meet the question on its own terms, from either a high/low moral standpoint or from a near/far position – Gunneysack replies (as if such a question could only be a rhetorical utterance) as quick as a flash: “Because it’s full of cunts.”