Phoebe Unwin (born Cambridge; 1979) studied at Newcastle University and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Unwin’s paintings shift between figuration and abstraction creating a personal register of images and marks: observations of reality, constructs of memory or indirect references to particular places and events. Using a variety of media, from oil and acrylic paint to pastel and graphite, Unwin creates playful images, often also filled with a brooding psychological presence.

In Unwin’s new paintings we stumble upon on a figure, or figures, lounging in rustic surroundings. In some images, parts of a body are depicted; a bent elbow and some crossed knees glimpsed through the long grass. These situations, at once commonplace and strange, appear in soft focus, seen through a haze that dissolves the division between the subject and their surroundings. In the process of making the paintings such as Couple paintings Unwin lays flowers to their surfaces, masking areas from the Indian ink which is then airbrushed. The resultant negative silhouettes evoke the process of a photogram and the shapes feel more solidified than the diffuse lines that describe the figures.