For Phoebe Unwin, painting is a way of articulating things – impressions and moods, experiences and thoughts – for which we do not have words. While her intimate, acutely sensitive canvases characteristically focus on the familiar stuff of daily life – a sun-hazed beach, a lounging figure, an energetic dog – her paint is never wholly subordinated to the business of representation, but rather insists on its own quiddity. Each of her works presents a particular formal challenge, and perhaps this is why she often shifts painterly register, sometimes within a single image. Nevertheless, what abides is a sense of her tuning into a fleeting signal on the edge of perception, or understanding, and amplifying it until it feels deeply present, and as undeniable as any of the named things that make up our world.  


Unwin studied at the University of Newcastle, UK (1998-2002) and the Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK (2003-5), and was shortlisted for Whitechapel Gallery’s Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2015.

Recent exhibitions: Osmosis at Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London, UK (2020); Iris, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, UK (2019) and Field, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, IT (2018). Her institutional group shows include Walk Through British Art, Tate Britain, London, UK (2016); One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People, Hayward Gallery Touring, UK (2015-16); British British Polish Polish: Art from Europe’s Edges in the Long ‘90s and Today, CSW Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, PL (2013, curated by Tom Morton and Marek Goździewski); and British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet at the Hayward Gallery, London and touring, UK (2010-2011).


Selected collections: Arts Council Collection (UK); UK Government Art Collection (UK); British Council Collection (UK); Tate Gallery, London (UK); Saatchi Collection, London (UK); Southampton City Art Gallery (UK); Fenberger House, Nagano Prefecture (JP); Kolon Group Collection, Seoul (KR); Collezione Maramotti (IT); Collezione Di Mario Testino (IT); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NE); Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut (US); Jiménez-Colón Collection, Ponce (PR) and HSBC, London (UK).

Phoebe Unwin participates in the exhibition The Kingfisher's Wing, July 21 - August 19, 2022. For more information about the artist please vist Amanda Wilkinson Gallery.