Gunvor was born in Denmark in 1973. She hails from a family of engineers and priests so perhaps it is no surprise she ended up a sculptor of metal.
Her first memory of metal was it’s distinct smell visiting her granddad’s workshop on the West Coast of Denmark. Her first meeting with iron as a tool, was when required to plough the fields the old way with horses and a one-furrow plough.
She trained initially as a horticulturist, however her intrigue with metal, and the tradition of the blacksmith steered her towards a second degree in the Hereford College of Art and Design.
Gunvor composes her sculptures using a minimal amount of components which she assembles in a way that suggest a childish or informal creation. Her work is dramatic yet playful. To retain a sense of the human touch – which can be otherwise absent in large scale metal sculpture – Gunvor purposely leaves her maker’s marks in the form of heavy surface texture.
“Forging metals vs casting them facilitates a short moment in the making where the material – through heat – is at its most malleable, and whatever tool impacts the surface at this time makes a permanent impression. This creates an ‘impact texture’ which captures the unrefined earthiness of the raw material”
Gunvor shares a stdio and forge with her husband Michael Calnan – himself an award winning Sculptor – on the beautiful demesne of Russborough House, Co. Wicklow.
She has received several Awards including
– the Mill Cove Award (2015), awarded for A Sculpture of Distinction by the Mill Cove Gallery at the Sculpture in Context Exhibition – The largest and most prestigious outdoor Sculpture in Ireland.
– Certificate of Merit in the Recognition of Excellence, Royal Dublin Society (2011)
– First Prize at The National Craft Awards, Traditional metalwork Category.
– And the Stanly Allcard Cup, The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths (1999) for Outstanding Ability in the Traditional Craft of the Blacksmith.
The Department of Foreign Affairs Art collection, and The St. Patrick Award for Peace in Ireland (Commissioned by the New York St. Patricks Day Foundation) in 2016 – it was awarded to Senator George J. Mitchell and 7 others.