Emma Gunningham

Recent Works


Graduated from Reading University 1980 and became a founder member of Chisenhale Art Place.

I am a freelance artist & educator organising and running workshops for children, teenagers, adults and the elderly, with particular experience with homeless and socially vulnerable groups.



My work has long been informed by chance and random systems, linking numbers to colours, letters and words.  This evolved to incorporate text taken from notebooks and old diaries – the handwriting both lending shape and structure whilst the original meaning remains obscure.

Last year I came across my grandfather’s WW1 diary.  I became fascinated by this tiny leather bound book, handwritten in faint pencil.  The words are factual, and it omits all emotion or any real description of the horrific events being related.  I have a clear memory of “Papa” describing the 24 hours in which he lay wounded on the field at Ypres.  My research blended with personal recollection has led this current work to reflect upon memory, the passage of time, and loss of innocence.  The diptych simultaneously presents Ypres both then and now, and the portraits depict a young man before and after his ordeal.