Padraig Cunningham’s work examines our physical displacement in the environment, focusing on the gap between what is real and what is fictional. Within this dislocation, themes of loss and absence become apparent, often centering on everyday places; reinventing and questioning their status, usage and how they have been altered to accommodate human engagement. Implied in this alerteration is a nostalgia, a longing for what has been lost.
Since graduating in 1996, Cunningham has been working as a professional artist, participating in and organising exhibitions. In 2000 he founded Stoney Batter Studios, with two other artists, and was involved in numerous shows including an emerging artist exhibition at the Ashford Gallery, RHA and solo shows at the Cross Gallery, Dublin.
In 2005 he moved to Boyle, Co. Roscommon and was Artist in Residence in the Dock Art Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon which culminated in a group exhibition, ‘Convergence’. In 2009 he was awarded a place on the Trade residency, an international residency working with the artist Darren Almond, funded by Leitrim and Roscommon arts offices. This programme concluded with the Trade conference and an exhibition titled ‘Sequence’.
Over the last couple of years Cunningham has been involved in a artist-led initiative, alter/native that aims to develop, through exhibitions and events, a strong network of working artists in Roscommon area. In 2011 he was invited to participate on an international project and residency in Bodh Gaya, India. The work was exhibited in Patna, India and in Galway at Tulca 2011.