Gina Cunningham

My current projects address issues of immigration, feminism, water protection and climate change. Relegated, yet vibrant cultures and the concerns of disregarded people deserve recognition and social justice. My videos become part of multi-media installations I construct. I print or paint still images from these videos for various projects. I consider myself part of a global community. I believe in generating creative projects outside of a museum, gallery or studio setting to reach all kinds of people. My current trajectory is to continue as an activist/artist creating relevant, thought-provoking works in unique locations.

Working Title: Menecing, Sacred Waters
The exploration undertaken during my Once Upon a Water residency will result in the Canadian segment of an on-going project, spanning about five years. I have directed a series of sacred water, climate change, migrant boat-motif videos in different locales and plan to film on Toronto Island in a similar fashion. My exploration plan is about venerating the sacred waters while discovering new, unique images to develop and utilize. I strive to be open about my ideas because I want to experience flexibility regarding the work I will create. When planning for a residency, I’ve learned it’s not a good idea for me to strategize in a rigid way. This is especially true when the setting remains unseen; except for internet photos. The Working Title: Menecing, Sacred Waters is out of respect for the native people, the Ojibwa, Mississaugas and the Anishinaabegs, who named the place “Menecing”. My preliminary research informs me the original occupants brought their sick to this area to recover in its healthful atmosphere and holy waters. My investigation of Toronto Island’s holy waters will give me the opportunity to further develop my sacred, aquatic-themed projects. In the future, I hope to exhibit the work made during my Artscape residency in a meaningful and far-reaching way.

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Gina Cunningham: With a Masters in communication, part of my work history is as a fine arts /video instructor. In India, I taught in slums & a Muslim neighborhood, working with girls with limited access to education. I collaborated with Project Teach, from Canada, working in Haitian universities, where I organized art workshops for displaced teachers after their devastating earthquake. I co-directed Nike filmmakers workshops and designed an iconic restaurant. I exhibited internationally, attended far-flung residences & contributed to film festivals & performances events. I won the 2017 Hollywood Art Center Biennale’s 1st prize for my installation addressing migration. My recent show” Ripped from the Headlines” closed July 2019.

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