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Penny McCarthy

Penny McCarthy

Reader in Fine Art, Course Leader Postgraduate Fine Art

Summary

Penny McCarthy works primarily with drawing and text. Her work is presented internationally in a variety of contexts: in museums and galleries, at conferences, and as live projects and publications. Her work has been supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England and Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Recent projects have been shown in Ulysse(s): L’autre mer, at the FRAC, Rennes, France; Nothing is Forever, South London Gallery; and Material Truths at Site Gallery, Sheffield in 2017. Macchia, a digital index of works is accessible online. Her picture essay Time will darken paper was commissioned for Esopus (New York) issue 21, 'Mirror', a chapter in Memories of the Future (eds. Deborah Jaffe and Stephen Wilson, 2017) and On The Image at Venice International University, San Servolo, Venice (2017).

  • About

    Penny McCarthy (1960, in Washington DC, USA) works primarily with drawing and text. Following study in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, Penny began her career as a Henry Moore Fellow in Drawing. Her work is presented internationally in a variety of contexts: in museums and galleries, at conferences, and as live projects and publications. Her work has been supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England and Arts and Humanities Research Council. Recent projects have been shown in Ulysse(s): L’autre mer, at the FRAC, Rennes, France; Nothing is Forever, South London Gallery; and Material Truths at Site Gallery, Sheffield in 2017. Macchia, a digital index of works is accessible online. Her picture essay Time will darken paper was commissioned for Esopus (New York) issue 21, 'Mirror', a chapter in Memories of the Future (eds. Deborah Jaffe and Stephen Wilson, 2017) and On The Image at Venice International University, San Servolo, Venice (2017).

    Penny’s practice involves re-writing, re-drawing, re-constructing to make images. Her research practice is intrinsically concerned with the ways we engage with knowledge and the structures of its acquisition. Recent projects have developed from a fascination with online archives and by the ways that such bureaucratic infrastructures make connections between the individual and the culture giving coherence to our picture of the world. This interest has prompted a series of works that re-materialise and re-situate digital documents from archives that refer to half-forgotten events and seem to index a lost or unreliable past.

    Through her practice, Penny has explored the investigative potential of drawing to consider the imaginative space of fiction in a series of pencil-drawn copies of pages from writers such as WG Sebald, Jorge Luis Borges, Fernando Pessoa, Nabokov and others. This merging of fiction, visual genres and methods creates an intersection between cultural context and knowledge production.

    Currently she making a series of fragile, often incomplete, works that use drawing to engage with art works from different periods of history. This project opens a dialogue between works of art across time and acts as a means to examine notions of obsolescence, permanence and legacy.

    Specialist areas of interest

    Drawing, writing, archives, literature, history, time, memory, the image, material processes, visual thinking

  • Teaching

    Subject area

    Extended Degree and Postgraduate Subject Group

    Courses

    MA and MFA Fine Art
    BA (Hons) Fine Art

    Modules

    Art Practice
    Art
    Art and its Publics
    Postgraduate Art Context (Drawing from the Archive)
    Art Context 2 (Art and the Body)
    Gravity Lectures

  • Research

    Gravity (ongoing)
    Render (current)
    Sala delle Asse (current)

    Gravity: Buckets and Jewels
    Transmission
    Shadow Book
    Nothing is Forever - Lullaby Constellation
    Time will darken
    Penelope/Odyssey

    Gravity is a collaboration with Becky Shaw and Andrew Sneddon
    Render is a collaboration with Becky Shaw, Andrew Sneddon, Gary Simmonds and other staff

  • Publications

    A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

    Mirror is a 5,000 word essay for Memories of the Future eds. Deborah Jaffe & Stephen Wilson, published by Peter Lang, publication in 2016.

    2004 McCarthy, Penny, March 2004 UK Shadow Book, Research Group for Artists Publications, ISBN 0 9540639 3 7
    2001 McCarthy, Penny, March 2001 Encyclopaedia of Dust, RGAP, UK ISBN 0 90 1 437 55 7
    1994 McCarthy, Penny Bedrooms, P.O.P.P. no.9 (ed. 1000), UK
    1993 McCarthy, Penny, 1993 Archaeology, pub. Leeds Metropolitan University

  • Other activities

    External examiner at the University of the Creative Arts (BA (Hons) Painting, School of Film, Media and Performing Arts, Open College of the Arts)

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Current

    Louise Finney
    Lee Ford
    Clare Massey
    Jeanine Griffin
    Sarah Smizz

    Completed

    Louise Wilson
    Brian Eccleshall
    Jerome Harrington

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