Graham Dunning (UK)

Graham Dunning is a self-taught artist and musician having studied neither discipline academically. His live work explores sound as texture, timbre and something tactile, drawing on bedroom production, tinkering and recycling found objects. He also creates visual work, video and installations drawing on these themes. Graham has performed solo and in ensembles across the UK, and Europe, and exhibited installations in the UK, New Zealand and USA. He teaches Experimental Sound Art at the Mary Ward Centre in London and also gives various independent workshops. He has released through Entr’acte, Seagrave, Tombed Visions and more.

Graham’s background in experimental music continues to influence his approach to art - particularly focussing on sound or found objects within his work. Experimentation through process, and self inflicted restrictions similar to the way scientific experiments are conducted play as a main part in his art making. Noise – as unwanted sound like record crackle or tape hiss – often features in Graham’s work, and a visual equivalent articulated as dirt, dust or decay.

Graham’s work such as Stone Tapes, explores time and commemoration cross examining how people store their memories in personal archives – photographs, audio journals, post-it notes – and what becomes of those archives. Collecting things has always held a fascination for Graham, and he finds discarded objects interesting in themselves - for the stories that they suggest or that can be read into them.

“I found a stone on the bank of the Thames which was similar in size to a cassette tape, so made an edition of copies of it. The original tape (master) is exhibited alongside at least one of the copies. The title refers to Nigel Kneale’s 1972 BBC drama The Stone Tape, in which tragic events of the past are preserved in ancient stones by electromagnetic forces.” - Graham Dunning

“Housed in a red brick former primary school, Nottingham’s Reactor Halls feels like a suitable place for a haunting. Outside in the playground an old sandpit has gone to seed, a wooden tricycle is left abandoned upon the tarmac. The whole place feels like the location for the sort of creepy British ghost story the BBC once excelled at. Inside, the reference is made explicit by the title of Graham Dunning’s Stone tape (2015), a chunk of blackened slate found by the artist on the Thames bank, resembling a cassette in size and shape. Taking its name from the 1972 broadcast written by Nigel Kneale about a group of engineers who discover the bricks of an old mansion bear the ghostly traces of its former occupants, the work comes as a pair, subtitled “master” and “copy”, the latter being a plaster cast of the former. Naturally, being an analogue copy, the copy renders its subject somewhat imperfectly, leaving the odd bubble on the surface – artefacts of reproduction, like tape hiss and dwindling bandwidth.” – Robert Barry, The Wire, August 2015

Graham Dunning

Filed as: exhibitionemotion + the tech(no)bodyartist

Published on 27 Jul 2017