Gonzo Unit is an art organisation founded by Anna Schwanz and Rachel Murray in 2012. Non-prescriptive and process led, we host, curate and collaborate on exhibitions, residencies and international projects. Our interests are situated at the juncture between our commitment to experimental artistic practice and critical engagement with contemporary issues.
Our projects include a 6-month residency at Twenty-Eight Boys and Girls Barbers, in Nottingham, where we worked closely with artists in the development of new site-specific work for the unique space. In 2018 we began working on a new arts programme in Thessaloniki, Greece, operating from a former “biotexnia” small fabric factory.
We are committed to establishing friendships and networks with the artists and organisations we work with across the world, and to facilitate international, cross cultural dialogues, collaborations and exchanges. Currently, our networks extend from the UK and Greece to India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Turkey, and the USA.
About Anna & Rachel
Anna and Rachel have worked together since 2010. They have extensive experience curating exhibitions and supporting emerging and established artists to produce new work. Their work together outside of Gonzo Unit includes running and curating the exhibitions and residency programme at Surface Gallery in Nottingham (UK) between 2010-13, where they worked with international artists, including Janet Morrow and Ting-Tong Chang to produce solo shows. They were instrumental in developing Surface Gallery’s East Midlands Graduate Exhibition into a funded residency and mentoring programme that supported new talented artists post BA degree. In 2011 they were collaborators on Project India, a cross-cultural programme of exhibitions, events and a residency in Mumbai, India. They were also on the organising committee of the NotLost Festival, which celebrated and showcased the spectrum of independent arts practice across Nottingham. For the World Event Young Artists festival in 2012, they selected and curated two exhibitions for both Gonzo Unit and Surface Gallery, featuring the work of international artists.
Anna has a BA in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University. At Tate Britain, she worked in the Adult Programmes team on Late at Tate events and various private views with high profile artists and speakers including Jeremy Deller, Peter Doig, Michael Palin, Grayson Perry and Stephen Poliakoff. She is based in Thessaloniki since 2014 where she continues her practice as an artist. Rachel has a BA in Fine Art, and an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. She was a founding studio member of Backlit in 2008 and has recently worked with Counterpoints Arts on their events, festivals and marketing.