Chilean painter and textile designer Jacqueline Unanue @ Diálogo 365
October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
Jacqueline Unanue was born in Chile. During the early seventies, she studied design at the Universidad de Chile de Valparaíso. At that time she became interested in pre-Columbian art, especially the rock art done in her native country. She met archaeologist Hans Niemeyer, the most important scholar of Chilean rock art, and he became her mentor. Unanue traveled extensively through Chile’s desert, doing on-site research in the mountains and cliff areas that contain art that was carved or painted thousands of years ago. She also traveled to Spain to study the pre-historic paintings of the Altamira caves in the Basque Country, which being the home of her paternal ancestors connected her to her roots. Inspired by these archeological records, she created her own graphic language in a book she titled El Arte Rupestre Chileno, Un encuentro con el Hombre Primitivo (Chilean Rock Art, An Encounter with Primitive Man), for which she got her graphic design degree. Rock art also provided inspiration for her work in graphic art, textile art, and painting.
In 1989, she won the Critic’s Award in Visual Art from the Valparaíso Art Critics Association in Chile. In addition to numerous individual and group exhibitions in Chile since 1983, she has also been exhibited in Spain, Finland, Ecuador, Argentina, and the United States—in galleries in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York. Since her arrival in the United States in 2000, her artistic vision has mainly been expressed through acrylic painting on canvas. In recent years, she has become interested in ancient systems of writing and spontaneous painting techniques, which have enlarged and enriched her creative expression.
Unanue currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband Ricardo Guajardo who is a designer and graphic artist. They work together on surface and textile designs intended for women’s apparel and home fashion at their Philadelphia-based studio Raimi Design. She also teaches her Children’s Art Program. She is represented by the 3rd Street Gallery in Philadelphia.
JU: The Creation triptych painting originated from my last emotional trip to my city, Viña del Mar, Chile. After many years of absence I enjoyed the magical luminosity of the sky there, with the vibrant colors around. I enjoyed also the unique air, the marine breeze coming not just throughout my lungs, but throughout all my existence as well. I felt like being part of the absolute existence, without any borders, without time or space. I felt like going even to the origin of life, creating by myself the life inside the uterus, and letting freely explode infinite cells around, in a world without differences and frontiers. This inspiration gave me an enormous sense of freedom and enjoyment. No matter the place, I am living and creating my art.