Archives for posts with tag: WIlkinson

Phoebe Unwin @ Wilkinson

2There are basic emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Anger. Fear. These are like elements, the basic building blocks of Humanity.

Then there are more complex feelings that are more like chemical compounds. They can include the aforementioned emotions but are mixed with sensual stimulus, and context. Like smell, vision, memory and place, that are catalogued and recalled from the brain. These complex emotional compounds are harder to describe and often unique to the individual.

1Phoebe Unwin is all about capturing and recreating these emotional compounds in her work. Fleeting moments of life that are hard to understand unless you were there.

But what is Unwin trying to achieve by doing so? Does she want people to feel something or does she just want people to look at what she is feeling?

4If Unwin’s strategy is isolationist, i.e. not designed to trigger feelings or memories in other people and only present her own, Then for her art to be emotionally valuable to someone the paintings must be masterpieces (which, as nice as they are, are not) or Unwin herself must be emotionally valuable to you in the first place – therefore Unwin must be either Famous, or Infamous. Or have an intriguing personality which you would talk about to buyers.

If Unwins strategy is to evoke emotion within the viewer, Some paintings succeed. Her work is more effective when one can recognise context therefore triggering emotional response. But the more abstract works become defunct  – They are too gentle to evoke pure emotion (for example Rothko),  they are more likely to encourage critical analysis.

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I can appreciate Unwins brave pursuit of subtle complexity, but i reckon it’s a sticky wicket.

Runs till 13th October
Wilkinson
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Makiko Kudo @ Wilkinson

What’s going on with Britain? The Economy’s going to hell in a handcart, the government is on a cutting spree and Gorgeous Galloway has managed to blag a seat in parliament. In the current atmosphere of disillusionment and all those other depressing things, people need a little escapism. Especially young people who don’t have a job or much to look forward to, they aren’t interested in the realities of politics or current affairs. They want to disappear deep into online worlds where they can act out a more interesting life.

This sentiment is in someways captured by Makiko Kudo’s oil painting’s, although she may not be aware of the UK’s socio-political climate. They are an interesting correlation of modern anime,  computer game context, fauvist colour palette and impressionist form. From a distance they may seem like any standard japanese graphic novel but upon closer inspection you will be able to experience the lush textured brushwork and loose gestural application of vividly coloured of paint.

Most fantasy cartoon worlds normally contain an optimistic happy character searching actively for their destiny. But in these paintings the main characters play a much more passive role. Seemingly bereft and directionless they are at the mercy of their surroundings. It’s a bit like  reading a obscure japanese manga comic whilst listening to The Smiths.

But to be clear these canvases are not comics.  They are emotionally rich, beautiful to look at and pack quite a punch. I’d definitely like one on my wall (if i had a wall big enough)