Kerry Penny | West Yorkshire
Kerry Penny is a landscape and figurative painter. Originally from Leeds, she studied Fine Art Painting and Drawing at the University of Huddersfield, graduating in 2008. She now works from her studio, located at the Creative Arts Hub in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
Kerry’s practice explores themes of connection and devotion, rejection and empathy. Her work draws from emotion and instinct to create images of a compelling, heart-based energy. These images tap the soul-connections between humans, animals and landscape, and embody the sacredness of such bonds. Often within her work branches envelop the animal/human figures, linking them. These links are both vital and fragile. They are at once physical, eternal and ephemeral. The landscape works, in particular, are liminal, flowing, otherworldly, but have a raw and unique solidity.
Whilst there is a veneration of beauty and unity in her work, Kerry also explores the flipside – the rejections and disconnections prevalent within the human condition. Frailty and pathos, the yearnings, and the grasping are laid bare. Always, though, there is the understanding of the transcendent nature of empathy and the exalted, recuperative energy of the Earth.
Kerry uses a mixture of oils, isopropyl alcohol, ink and liquid gold. To gold ink she applies heat, splitting it, creating flowing, organic forms. To apply the liquid gold, she uses a hypodermic needle to create strands that seem to reach out to the viewer, wanting to make contact. This use of reflective materials creates a constantly shifting and dynamic surface, always reacting to changing light conditions and to the relative position of the viewer. Over the past year her work has become more landscape based and she looks forward to exploring this theme more.
The use of isopropyl adds a performative, chance element to the work. As a medium, it is complex (and often frustrating!), requiring the perfect control of air flow to dry (in this case, a low power hairdryer and airbrush are used). The unpredictability, both of the liquid movement and the reactivity of the inks, means the creation of these works is always on the edge of destruction.