Author: Charlotte Bearn

Q&A with Penelope Kenny

Born in Australia, Penelope Kenny now lives and works in Brighton. Her work explores the relationship between humans and animals especially in connection to themes such as evolution. We catch up with her with our artist’s Q&A...

What or who are the main inspirations behind your work?

I am inspired by how we perceive, organise and try to control nature, especially in relation to genetic manipulation and scientific tampering with the species boundaries.

Q&A with Penelope Kenny | Image

How do you approach the actual making of a piece?

I usually begin each new print with some kind of first hand research. I go to Natural History Museums and antiquarian libraries looking for things that catch my eye, looking at colours and taking photographs.

I have a growing collection of amazing antiquarian illustrated books that I get from eBay and second hand markets that I use as resource material. I don’t use Photoshop much (unless I am working with photographs) and prefer instead to use scissors, magic tape and drawing to put things together.

I create the positives for the silkscreens with photocopies and by painting with Indian ink on to tracing paper. I print all my work myself and make the inks I use by mixing pure pigments with pearlescent powders. I decide on the colours as I proof the print, testing things out until I get a final image I am happy with and am ready to edition.

What themes do you pursue?

Transhumanism, hybrids and evolution.

What’s your medium?

Water-based screen printing

Q&A with Penelope Kenny | Image

What are you currently working on?

I have been commissioned to design and edition a series of prints for a company based in London. Once that is done I have some new ideas that I am keen to get into the studio with, I think things are going to get more botanical.

Describe an average day for you.

An average day alternates between making art, ordering materials, researching, printing, admin, invoicing, and framing. On the best days I am mostly printing.

What led you to become an artist?

Following a teenage dream

What’s the strongest memory of your childhood?

My strongest childhood memories are triggered by the scent of eucalyptus as I grew up in Australia.

Q&A with Penelope Kenny | Image

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I have done all sorts of jobs over the years- I worked as a Tram Conductor in Melbourne, as a Gallery Assistant in London, and painted murals and taught English in Mexico.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

Hope

What superpower would you have and why?

Power bestowal so my friends could have super powers too.

Name three artists you would like to be compared to and why?

I am influenced by many artists, from 19th century taxidermists like Walter Potter to more contemporary artists such as Mark Dion or Thomas Grünfeld.

In another life (if you weren’t an artist) what would you be doing?

Hopefully I would be exploring the world as some other kind of animal

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

As an artist to have ‘the skin of an armadillo’

AFFORDABLE ART

CJP £75

Rewilderness - A3

29.7 x 42cm

£75

29.7 x 42cm

£85

45 x 45cm

£125

42 x 60 cm

Nothing Matters - Remix, 2020 Art Print by Dan Hillier
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£98

42 x 42cm

Cats Pyramids

24.7 x 39cm

£35

24.7 x 39cm

Daffy (Red Stripe)

70 x 50cm

£100

70 x 50cm

Reginald Botanical

29.7 x 42cm

£60

29.7 x 42cm

£60

29.7 x 42cm

£100

33 X 48 cm

HOPE THAT KILLS YOU

21 x 29.7cm

£75

21 x 29.7cm

Cherry Drop

35 x 35cm

£65

35 x 35cm

Acne Pink

30 x 42cm

£125

30 x 42cm

Lemon Blossom 3

40 x 40cm

£55

40 x 40cm

£85

50.7 x 45cm

Ellipsis - Remix, 2020 Art Print by Dan Hillier
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£98

42 x 42 cm

£100

50 x 50cm

Anyone for Tennis?

29.7 x 42 cm

£115

29.7 x 42 cm

BOUNCE! 2020

42 x 42cm

£125

42 x 42cm

The Sun Rises in the East Art Print by Hooksmith Press
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£100

32 x 45cm

Bananas

29.7 x 42cm

£60

29.7 x 42cm

Patrick Art Print by Lee Ellis
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Patrick

40 x 40cm

£75

40 x 40cm

Vintage Girl

70 x 100cm

£135

70 x 100cm

MK-Ultra II

19 x 19cm

£65

19 x 19cm

£100

29.7 x 42cm

Gorilla - Neon Pink

42 x 59.4cm

£125

42 x 59.4cm

I Love London

22 x 17 cm

£60

22 x 17 cm

Andy Warhol £22

£22

70 x 100 cm

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