By Nina J P Evans

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Phoebe Unwin: Anything can be a Painting

Aeroplane Meal, 2008 spray paint and oil on linen 97.5 × 107.5 cm
If I could transfer my digital abstract layered Photoshop pieces into an exciting array of fine art paintings, this is how I’d love them to be. There’s something very beautiful and fascinating, bold and confident about these I'm drawn to. Phoebe Unwin uses abstract shapes and colours with layers that are built up. Visual elements overlap endlessly, the Illusion doesn’t enhance the visual perspective; it forms visual connections and contrasts within the piece. The paintings are titled in a very generic fashion: Man with Heavy Limbs, or Day, because of this I think the viewer is able to create and interpret the pieces more personally.

“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.” The smallness of the subject matter is just like how the author Haruki Murakami describes the seemingly insignificant mundane, mixed up with contrasting sublime and profound thoughts.

Also looking at these paintings evokes the feeling of pausing or slowing motion, a bit dream like, maybe Phoebe Unwin uses different media to help maintain this illusion by combining: sprays, oils and acrylic mediums. Creating a beautiful blurring movement, it’s as if time is passing and in those few seconds you are caught in the moment.

Desk oil, 2008 aluminium leaf and spray paint on linen 183 x 153 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
Man with Heavy Limbs, 2009 acrylic, ink, charcoal & on glossy card & printed paper
Soft Person, 2008 gold leaf and acrylic on canvas 220 x 185 cm
Day, 2007 acrylic on canvas 145 x 125 cm
 Bicycle at Night, 2009 oil and spray paint on canvas

further reading Escape into life

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