Sleeper

2012

Unwin, Phoebe
Phoebe Unwin’s works are based on memory and the evocation of universal experiences and sensations; in the artist’s words, ‘I am not interested in reproducing familiar images. When I approach my subjects, I like to think of visually explaining what something feels like, rather than what it looks like.’ For this reason, the images she makes are largely abstracted, calling attention to the textural and sculptural qualities of the paint used in their composition. Sleeper depicts a horizontal figure, roughly composed of sweeping, pinkish flesh tones, lying atop layered blue-and-white-striped forms that sink under its weight. The abstracted body features several near-repetitions of the same sharply-delineated shape, which resembles a sleeping profile. In keeping with the artist’s approach to representation, it could be said to demonstrate the immersive, intimate and enveloping qualities of sleep and the manner in which sleeping ‘selves’ are contained and diffused. As Unwin stated, ‘When I made Sleeper, I was thinking of how it feels to lie opposite someone, looking at them sleeping; how their shut-eyes and facial expression mean their body is with you but their mind is not.’
  • Artwork Details: 50 x 76cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: oil on linen
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: ACC23/2012

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