Mandy Gunn was born in England and came to Australia in 1966.
She has a B.A. Fine Art in Painting and Tapestry, a Graduate Diploma in Painting and a Master of Fine Art. She has had 24 solo exhibitions and has shown in countless group exhibitions. Her work is in numerous collections including major regional galleries and universities.
Each year Mandy spends a month with her North Queensland daughter and family, where she has a chance to observe the reef at close quarters. A collection of soft corals thrown up onto the beach became a starting point when Mandy found they could be put through the press to act as stencils. From there she has gone on to include her own cut stencils and other found materials to create these many layered works. This work is a lament for and protest against the demise of one of Australia’s great wonders.
Constructed Grid Works
Melbourne city’s grid formation resonated with Mandy through her background in weaving which she perceives to have a similar structure. Her sculptures are a sort of 3D weaving using similar patterns. They are mostly based on collaging found papers such as book pages, catalogues, maps, train tickets, wrapping materials etc onto a double layer cardboard which is then hand cut into strips and rebuilt into architectural type forms, the larger pieces being based on pattern repeats. In some works she have collected sand, ochres and salts, which mixed with paint, are then applied to the cardboard.
Mandy has been weaving with paper for about 25 years, with the idea of TEXT becoming a TEXT-ILE being part of the process. In the past 10 years she has woven approximately 30 books, mostly classics with the fine paper pages that don’t tear during the manipulation of the ‘threads’. The average Classic takes approximately a month to weave into a scroll, mirroring the old way of passing on knowledge. After hemming the ends the scroll is then attached to the cover with a ribbon. Mandy’s books have been purchased for major collections such as Queensland State Library and she has been invited to participate in a number of Australian and International Artist Book Exhibitions.