Penny Byrne


The works of Penny Byrne are at once
highly political and beautiful. Consistently working with ceramics, she
combines vintage porcelain figures with other materials and objects that
disrupt and unsettle the original figure. Sometimes Byrne paints text and motifs
directly onto the porcelain surface or uses objects such as vintage Action Man
accessories and decorative glass ornaments to bring radically alternate stories
to these familiar domestic figurines. Her recent pieces reference conflicts and
protests connected to global political affairs such as the Occupy Movement and
events in Syria, giving these characters voices and new lives which are far
removed from their original purposes as meek sheperdesses or farm girls feeding
ducks. Byrne’s meticulously manipulated ceramics are saturated, too, with wry

Byrne is based in Melbourne, Australia and holds a BA in Fine Art
Ceramics. In 2015 she will be showing in the Venice Biennale, a project in
collaboration with the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The artist
has won several awards and prizes, and has shown her work extensively in the
UK, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. Notable exhibitions include those at
the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, The Gallery of Western Australia
and Saatchi Gallery in London.