“Here person and place are almost indistinguishable. I had in mind how soft human bodies compare with the hardness of buildings,” Unwin says. Exploring the physical and psychological, she works from both memory and observation: “I don’t work from photographs – for me photographs provide too much information; too many details. I often aim to get to the essence of a subject, going on a hunch that there is more to that familiar moment or thing than itself. How colours work with form, scale and subject fascinates me; tension that materials can create. It’s important that the paintings are not scaled up from smaller images. I never know how a painting will look when it’s finished and I consider this a vital means of giving a painting energy. Memory is a useful filter for me because it’s never an isolated phenomenon: it’s not just about what something looked like but also what it felt like, how big I felt in relation to it, its temperature or environment – painting the feeling of something rather than its appearance. I paint things I have experienced in some way.”

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