Maurice Gunning is an Irish photographer and documentary filmmaker. He studied under Ken Grant at the University of Wales, Newport, for his MFA in Documentary Photography. Gunning invests considerable time into the research and making of his work, focusing on the quotidian details of everyday life. He has been appointed to the position of artist in residence at many cultural and educational institutions and continues to exhibit internationally with support from the Irish Arts Council and Culture Ireland.
In 2012, Maurice was invited by Dance Ireland to become artist in residence at Dance House, Dublin. Over the course of the year, he created a new body of photographic work and dance films. This work was premiered in May 2013 as part of Dance Ireland 21: Still in Motion with a large permanent solo show at Dance House. ‘We are delighted to commission such unique images from Maurice, a photographic artist of the highest quality whose work will add to our understanding of the beauty of movement.’ Paul Johnson, Dance Ireland Chief Executive.
Maurice has worked extensively in Buenos Aires with the Argentine Irish Diaspora over a number of years. In 2010, he brought his solo show, Encuentro, back to Buenos Aires, exhibiting at the Centro Cultural de Recoleta with support from Culture Ireland and the Irish Embassy. This work has also been shown in several UK galleries and at the Irish National Photographic Archive as one of the main invitational exhibits of the 2012 PhotoIreland Festival. ‘It focuses on the Argentine-Irish community in Buenos Aires, descendants of the original immigrants that arrived there in the 1800’s. Gunning’s poetic, fragmentary style is perfectly suited to the kind of visual storytelling that draws on memory, text and longing to at once evoke the past and the present.’ Sean O’Hagan, The Guardian, August 2012.
The Irish Heritage Council funded a three-year project from 2006 to 2009 to enable Maurice to document Ireland’s traditional maritime heritage. This large body of work was premiered in Athens at the Cultural Centre with support from the Irish Embassy. In 2011, Maurice was invited by the Hunt Museum in Ireland to exhibit this work in a large solo show, officially launched by renowned writer and filmmaker, Bob Quinn.
Since 2006, Maurice has been the resident photographer at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. He continues to collaborate with many national and international artists through this residency. His work was celebrated in 2010 in the form of an extensive permanent exhibition and catalogue at the Irish World Academy.
In 2013, the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest invited Maurice to be their first artist in residence. The work Maurice produced during this residency will be premiered in Budapest at the Liszt Academy in 2015 with support from Culture Ireland, the Arts Council and the Irish Embassy.
In 2010 Gunning flew to Chile to film a documentary on the unfolding mining accident. This documentary, The Chile 33, received a worldwide release and was aired in over 50 countries. Other projects include a new documentary filmed in Andalucia in 2012; exploring the contemporary cultural context of Spanish bullfighting. He continues to work as a cinematographer with new projects from Swedish intergovernmental organisation, The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).
In May 2014, Family:Familie – Stories of five Romanian Families was launched as a photo book and exhibition with Hope & Homes for Children (Romania) with support from the Irish Embassy, Bucharest. The work was premiered at the National Parliament and the National Library, Bucharest. This project is an extension of Maurice’s exploration of humanitarian work, which began when he was appointed artist in residence with the Burren Chernobyl Project in Belarus.
In 2015, Maurice was awarded full funding from Irish Aid and the Dept. for Development and Trade (Simon Cumbers Media Fund), to create a new photographic exhibition. Maurice will be traveling to The Gambia during the Spring of 2015 to create this new work responding to themes relating to the Millennium Development Goals set out by the UNHCR.