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Combining elements from Chilean craft techniques, natural tinting processes and repetitive mechanised movement, Unzueta’s work explores labour’s technological, historical and social impact on the human condition, and its relationship to nature.

Tools for Life is the first ever UK solo exhibition of New York-based Chilean artist Johanna Unzueta (b. 1974). Featuring a large-scale felt installation, a collection of garments, a film shot at a textile factory in Chile, a wall mural and a selection of freestanding geometric drawings inspired by natural patterns, the exhibition reflects Unzueta’s interest in shared histories of community, geography, nature and labour practices.

Through her manipulation of materials, scale, and manual processes, Unzueta draws the humanity out of the industrial. This exhibition prompts us to consider the unseen human actions and efforts required to produce the objects and technologies we so unthinkingly rely on in our everyday lives.

“My mum always said I learned to weave and knit before I learned to read and write. Hands are tools for me and I can’t disconnect that.” – Johanna Unzueta, 2019

This exhibition is free, no booking required.


Virtual Exhibition – Johanna Unzueta: Tools for Life

“Finally, this type of armchair gallery going has reached the point where it is really effective. I highly recommend this.” – Antonia Cunliffe, That’s Not My Age

Enter Tools for Life online and discover new insights into Johanna Unzueta’s works with short videos, behind-the-scenes moments, curator’s notes, children’s activities and more.



Discover more about Tools for Life

Take a closer look at Johanna Unzueta's work and practice in this new short documentary in which the artist introduces her solo exhibition Tools for Life at Modern Art Oxford.


If craft is the seed of Unzueta’s practice, then industry, mechanics and geometry are its fertilising rains.

— British Vogue

Very beautiful exhibition. And judging from the preview party, Johanna Unzueta is as inspiring and humane as her work. Thank you @mao_gallery for bringing yet another amazing artist to town!

— Visitor

Tools For Life is a fascinating, broad-ranging body of work, a labour of love, graft, felt and dye that deceives and delights.

— Daily Info

Throughout the artist's work, the functional and unassuming are given the status of work of art; the normally invisible becomes the object of our gaze.

— ArtNexus

Beautiful abstract works in pastel colours abound in Tools for Life.

— The Double Negative

I thought this exhibition was fantastic! Unzueta's recreation of everyday objects with unconventional materials was a very effective reminder not to take the labour-intensive technologies and tools around us for granted.

— Visitor

Supported by

Johanna Unzueta Exhibition Circle, and Modern Art Oxford’s Commissioning Circle