Annie Dunning maintains a multidisciplinary practice that includes sculpture, installation, book works, prints, audio, and electronic art. She is participating in a one-year residency at the University of Guelph School of Environmental Science and is also part of the group residency Arts Incubator at Boarding House Arts. She is currently in Dawson City for Sapsucker Sounds, her exhibition of interactive sound sculptures at ODD Gallery, which opens tonight and continues until December 18.
1. Elemental souvenirs
I have a small collection of elemental souvenirs of Canada. Some, like Fresh Air from Cape Breton and Water from the Grey River, NFLD, I found in thrift stores. Others, like CN Tower Smog and Maid of the Mist Mist, I have made. I regret not buying a souvenir Canned Yukon Dust last time I came north. I hope to have an opportunity to buy or collect a sample in Dawson City.
2. Animals taking advantage of human systems
I love online articles about and videos of animals making use of human developed tools and systems. Dogs in Moscow commuting on the subway, pigeons on the Tube, crows using clothes hangers as nest building materials, and seagulls taking advantage of convenience stores.
3. Scientific research
Part of my residency at the School of Environmental Sciences at U of G involves seeing what scientific research is underway in the department. So far I have had the opportunity to see a world-class insect collection, LED-lit chambers designed to grow fresh vegetables in space, research into the effects of toxins in our waterways, and images created (by me) with a 3D x-ray machine.
Eden and Ben Grossman were critical in the development of the electronic components in my project Sapsucker Sounds. Currently it is my pleasure to have the help of Kasia Czarnota and Taliaferro Jones in the making of my first glass cast sculpture.
5. The Ward
My neighbourhood in Guelph is the oldest residential area of the city. It is a mix of residential and industrial buildings that house a diverse population and an active arts community. An aging Italian population set the precedent of keeping enormous gardens, backyard chickens, and even goats. These traditions are still going strong with many new families taking an interest in producing some of their own food. Janet Morton and I completed a community arts project that helped people in the Ward create stories and images of the neighbourhood. The community-generated content was published in a book titled Mapping the Ward by Publications Studio Guelph this past fall.
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