In Conversation: Phoebe Unwin and Hettie Judah

In this special event Phoebe Unwin will discuss her practice and her current exhibition at Towner, Iris, with writer and art critic Hettie Judah. This ticketed talk will take place within the exhibition space.

Hettie Judah is senior art critic on the British daily paper The I, and contributor to Frieze, The Guardian, Vogue, The New York Times, Art Quarterly, Numèro Art and other magazines with ‘art’ in the title. Her writing has been featured in numerous publications, from the catalogue of the 58th Venice Biennale to a recent book on textile art published by Phaidon. Hettie’s book Art London is published in September 2019: she is currently writing a short biography of Frida Kahlo, among other things.

Iris, which includes new works, takes its name from the artist’s late maternal grandmother and reflects on the ideas surrounding how the iris works, moving from the intimate and unspoken to the communal, stretching to different times, reflective of the nature of painting itself.

Phoebe Unwin’s paintings are rooted in personal experience, with each becoming a distinct exploration in the physical and emotive aspects of looking. For instance, the relationship one’s body has with the perception of a subject: a speedy profile, of swimming, an egg being boiled or the mind’s eye perspective of a room from above. A wide spectrum of colour, in oil and acrylic paint is used across the works exhibited: varying translucencies and palette ranges trigger the different kinds of associations familiar subjects might provoke. The paintings take the experience of the self to be something ever changeable, in scale and psychological presence.

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