Penny’s practice is primarily located around the sculptural use and display of objects and research into the still-life, domestic space, masculinities and obsolescence.
His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently showing at the Liverpool Biennial 2010.
‘I’m interested in making work from objects that are overlooked, unwanted or considered useless. I find that through the action of photographing an object or assemblage it can be transformed through this mechanical process, which although is likely to be a straightforward document; at the same time, has the potential to produce or perform something entirely imaginary. The closed off private space of the studio and the language of still life or pack-shot are useful tools in creating portals to this realm of the understated, and the work very much continues to exists in an internal space, not only in the location where the object is photographed, but also conceptually. The spaces produced by the photographs are framed as “in here” as opposed to “out there”, where the latter might usually be attributed to the documentary tradition.
As the one behind the camera I sometimes feel I am able to control the significance of that thing and what it might mean to the viewer, but this is not always possible and the separation presents an argument about the intentionality of the photograph as artwork and whether these images might mean anything at all. I am interested by the photograph’s ability to mask or shroud the unimportance of the object in the picture and how the domestic roots of many of the things I make pictures of are lost through “the front” of the picture. This visual pursuit of meaning might just become a game through which we aim to interpret the space between an object and its image’.