First UK solo exhibition of New York-based Chilean artist Johanna Unzueta's (b. 1974) abstract drawings, plus four new commissions.
Combining elements from Chilean craft techniques, natural tinting processes and repetitive mechanised movement, Unzueta considers how materials and structures can be manipulated to explore the physicality of a daily practice or trade, in relation to the history of industrial production. This exhibition offers viewers ways to consider the unseen human actions and efforts required to produce the objects and technologies they so unthinkingly rely on in their everyday lives.
Movement and motion are inherent in Unzueta’s work, but never more so than in her large-scale brightly coloured freestanding abstract drawings. Referencing the ‘golden ratio’ found in nature – such as the wing structure of insects or the petal formation of flowers – these abstract diagrammatic systems map their own paths around the ovals and circles traced by the artist’s hand.
The new works on show in Oxford are a large-scale felt installation, a collection of garments, a film shot at a textiles factory in Chili and a site-specific wall mural that surrounds a presentation of simple handmade garments, reminiscent of uniforms, made from fabric sourced from a factory in Guatemala that up-cycles jeans and natural cotton.