Penny Burnett lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Her paintings focus on our relationship with space and nature. She uses the motif of the garden to expose tensions between nature and culture, authority and agency, and to bring the viewer’s attention to the act of looking.
Formally trained in the atelier method at the National Art School in Sydney, Burnett is versed in the painterly gestural language of rendering space. In her practice she brings her skills into a speculative terrain to question how screen-based media have shifted both the rendering and perception of pictorial space. Using a digital layering approach, Burnett seeks to disrupt spatial relationships within her compositions. Her paintings conflate painterly codes to create discordances that both repel and intrigue.
Burnett’s work has been exhibited across the east coast of Australia and in Malaysia: ‘knit one, purl one, knit one…’ at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Windsor (2009); ‘Off the Wall’ Art in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney (2008); and ‘NewMakings’ at the Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart and the Malacca Art Gallery in Malaysia (2015).
For the last four years Burnett undertook a studio based PhD at the University of Tasmania, where she re-contextualised painterly narrative structures through the principal motif of the garden. The garden has been and continues to be pivotal in her work as both a field site and metaphorical space to explore complex ideas of power and the chameleon nature of identity.