A talk by Dave Penny


Notes and comments from Dave Penny’s talk last week.


Photographing objects- sometimes bought on ebay 

He talks about his work not necessarily being still life and that photographing objects can be presented in a more 3 dimensional way.


His introductory plate was a glass plate (bought on ebay) -Man with his model boat in the home. 

This opens up the theme of the domestic space, one which dave Penny continues to address in his work. 


when presenting his photographs he also plays with scale, the scale of the objects is unrecognisable due to their being no human body as a reference. It became very interesting to me that on first glance, what seemed quite a simple technique and set up, was actually a well thought through concept. 

Photographic Obsolesence!!!!


I was intrigues by the Filmscape series- which looked at the end of the role of films. 

I like the idea of serendipity and using what we are given to create art. linking in with in camera arts, rather than post production.


To the left is a notice for an event that Dave organised when coming out of education. It very inspiring to see that these things can take place and other artist are wiling to participate if you put in the time and effort. I would love to organise something like this in the furture, with some of the contacts i have recently made, through my internship[ and workshops. 


Q: what about funding?




Dave Penny talks about his working pulling the viewer in and then pushing them away- in terms of how i described earlier, his use of everyday objects makes it almost dismissible. 

Suggested book- Looking at the overlooked- Norman Bryson

This theme particularly got my attention as i am constantly working with places, objects, people and architecture which is overlooked in so many respects. 


Alien Invaders- A guide to non-nature species of the British Isles Vol1 a fiction book made to look factual…

This book inspired a new series of work by Dave Penny, which involved he making mock prototypes of things that are close to being invented… ie ipads, iphone projector




Printing work.  – recommended White Wall- German company (online)





use of highly reflective surface, to enable the viewer to see themselves in the work. You as the viewer have to put something into the work.. I feel this to be quite relevant in my work too, as the surface of my work has always been very important. Often allowing reflection to play with the viewer or texture to engage the viewer in a 3 dimmensional way.

‘Outside of the walls’- Pictures of things (phd project)

Imbuing a sense of importance to an object, again which would often be overlooked. But not explaining too much. Representing a dichotomy of inside and outside!!! Again something which i am very much interested in with my work being taking outside and pasted in the public, compared to the small locket sized pieces which are intimate and made for looking at indoors. 

Q: where.are the rocks of any significance… “not really, I began to recognise what i was looking for”

Davis also talked about only making one image per object, so not to create an archive of this thing, possibly taking something away from the original image. 

Q: Was that single shot idea , influenced by your use of film? yes s all the images are shot on large/medium format. 

I particularly like the discussion and though of the presentation… The use of space at the particular gallery- bring the work to life, curving and moving. Also thinking about objects in the room, making something with them. Light switches, electrical sockets, windows- Internal/external. 

Link between two spaces… Exploiting the space between the image and the object.


Lastly I discussed with Dave Penny at the end of the talk the concept of gendered spaces in society. His work centres around the domestic space, often giving clues or slight insights into the space that he works in. Going back to the model boat plate, it addresses the idea of male invasion in a domestic space. 


This provoked my thoughts on my invasion into the often elitist societies my work takes me too. Feminine invasion perhaps..


Male and female roles and Feminine and masculine – I plan to look in to these new ideas. 


Finally a nice sentence that Dave Penny said “The contemplative nature of the work is important”



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