Self Consciousness, 2010, acrylic, oil, thixotropic alkyd medium & spray paint on canvas, 145 × 120.5 cm
Soft Person, 2008, gold leaf and acrylic on canvas, 220 x 185 cm
Man with Flowers, 2007, oil on linen, 138 x 118cm
Table, 2010, acrylic, oil spray paint and graphite on canvas, 140 x 128.5 cm
Man in Jacket, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas, 145.5 × 120 cm
Turn to Pastel, 2008, acrylic on linen, 70 x 80 cm
Aeroplane Meal, 2008, spray paint and oil on linen, 97.5 × 107.5 cm
Man with Heavy Limbs, 2009, acrylic, Indian ink, charcoal & pastel on glossy card & printed paper, 146.5×100 cm
Frame, 2009, oil and spray paint on canvas, 50.5 × 60.5 cm
Day, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 145 x 125 cm
Bicycle at Night, 2009, oil and spray paint on canvas
Born 1979, Cambridge, England, Slade school of Fine Art 2005, lives and works in London.
Phoebe Unwin’s work has appeared in two of the most significant surveys of contemporary British art: Saatchi’s British Art Now [Part 2 – 27th Oct 2010 – 17th April 2011] and the seventh edition of the British Art Show [16th Feb – 17th April 2011] at the Haywood Gallery, London]. But although inclusion in such exhibitions is a clear indication of the artist’s abilities and will undoubtedly serve as catalysts to the painter’s future success, they do not properly reflect the full range and talent of this young star.
Unwin once said that she found it “…exciting to think that anything can be a painting…” and indeed it seems that the most insignificant of objects are made subjects in her works.
Rather than giving depth or perspective, in Unwin’s work layers serve to confuse the various elements, so that objects, subjects, backgrounds and foregrounds become interchangeable. As a consequence there is no single point of focus and the viewer is drawn into a sea of colour and shapes.
A unique aspect of Unwin’s practice is that she does not work from photographs or direct observation; instead she conjures up everything from either memory or her own imagination. In doing this she is trying to go beyond what the eye can see, into the heart and meaning of a moment, capturing the image as it was felt, or remembered. Her work, therefore, hovers between the real, the remembered and the re-imagined.
It is difficult, or so the saying goes, to put your thoughts down on paper. But Unwin makes putting them on canvas look easy.