Penelope Cain is an interdisciplinary artist, working between drawing, photography and video.
Penelope Cain has a background in veterinary science and recently graduated with MFA from Sydney College of the Arts (2016). She has undertaken residencies at the Australia Council for the Arts studio in Rome, Asialink residency in Taipei and most recently, the Power Institute Award residency at the Cite International des Arts, Paris. She has exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Rome, Seoul and Taipei.
She was a 2017 resident at Parramatta Artist Studios. She lives and works between Sydney and London.
I have an ongoing interest in the contemporary urban condition. I see this as the intersection between the built urban landscape and the people that inhabit it: the narratives and modes of inhabitation of urban space and place.
I have an ongoing broad interest in the urban condition- the spaces, places and narratives of the built urban landscape. The city functions as my observation point and laboratory.
Within this I am interested in porosities and slippages, glitches and gaps. Im deeply drawn to the propositional, the hypothetical, the unraveled, the not quite possible, the imagined. From a scientific frame of reference I see this as data gathering, evaluation and hypothesising. Pre-reality.
I am interested in the collapsing of territory between opposites that occurs within the city- the area containing both the sublime and the anti-sublime, nature and culture, the new and the ruined. Within this I have been developing a series of fractured narratives using referents of wild animals, partial ruins and unattended corners of the city.
Current work is increasingly concerned with the nexus of power- politics, economics and land ownership within the built urban landscape. I am deeply concerned by current neoliberal social/ economic policies and am taking a position of resistance.
In this I have been taking as my starting point the depiction of Australian landscape in the late Colonial period, through the eyes of white European immigrants, using landscape paintings and prints from the time as a pivot point to dissect and collate thoughts on power, economics and late-capitalism of now, within the urban. This current work tries to touch on discomforts I’ve had around western / euro history of the sublime and the panorama, and of the performance of commerce, gendered power and ownership, all within the frame of European colonisation of wide and inhabited lands.