The Painted Thread

The Painted Thread – Curated by Fion Gunn and Liu Pengsheng.


The Painted Thread exhibition by three artists Fion Gunn, Gulistan and Niamh Cunningham opened on September 25th 2016 at Joy Pavillion, 9 Jinhui rd CBD, Beijing.


The exhibition was installed to give the viewer unexpected movement and direction throughout the spaces whilst exploring cultural threads of memory and travel. There were seating arrangements for the viewer to sit and relax with different viewpoints around the exhibition area.


Gulistans works reflect an unusual European Renaissance flair with compositions partially faded or omitted leaving so much more for the viewer to fill in.








Her series The Essence of Memory provided the overall installation of the show with punctuations of large still portraits reminiscent of along gone era but there is something lingering that links to the present day.

3-16092g313092pGulistan mentioned “ I feel that time and space are like the latitude and longitude , we can always find the point using them.”








Fion Gunn’s detailed collaged paintings play with digital imagery and painting in surprising ways plaiting our identity and philosophical perspectives in surprising ways.

Her “Bridge of Memory Series” weaves water journeys, distant lands, historical references and cultural inheritance.



There is dialogue and movement between the changing world and the changing self in Gunn’s work yielding real and fantasy worlds for further exploration.





For my own work for this show I had the knitted Pillar of Time and the Hair Skull alongside some new and old work.




Some new work which I have never exhibited before such as “The China Rose Tunnel”, “Kildavin Fields” overlayed with a transparent chinese lattice window and portraits “Ciara” and “Tom”.


Also showing were the cream coloured “The Transparent Milk Series” of my younger students whom I taught in the first couple of years here in Beijing.




The travel continued with the Dubai paintings of water taxis chugging through the heart beat of the city and also the journey from Dubai to Ireland to Prague and on to different parts of China.


3-artists-with-catherine-cheng-and-madam-huangambassador-speaksMany thanks to Liu Pengsheng of Joy Pavillion for all his support and assistance  for this project, also to gallery  manager Ling Wenguang  and assistant Shelley . Also to Jun Hu and Sitong  for their endless help throughout the event . I also would like to thank prominent members of the art community here in Beijing for supporting the exhibition, to Irish Ambassador Paul Kavanagh and his wife Rosemary for officiating the opening, prominent curator Huang Du for coming to the opening and for his interest in the art works , madam Huang Qian of Zhong Fang Culture for her patronage and future collaborations. Also I would like to thank our panellists for their contributions to the evening discussion even “trends in collecting art by female artists and cross collaborations with local and international dimensions” to renowned curator Peng Feng,  curator Catherine Cheng for her support and contributions to the discussion  and also thanks to Ying Cui from Inter Gallery 798 .


Also a special thanks to writer Luise Guest for writing the essay The Art of Travel   on my work for this exhibition . Please click on the link to read .


Here are some press links for the event


The Painted Thread 1  

The Painted Thread 2  

The Painted Thread 3 

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