Artist Biography - Giles Penny
Giles Penny trained at the Heatherley School of Art, Chelsea and Newport College of Art. The artists MRBS RWA paintings are instantly recognisable to anyone who is familiar with his sculptures. The artists sculptures are characterised by large, sturdy, strong, often grey, forms and figures; his paintings and sculptures familiar to many.
Penny started creating art at the ...tender age of eight, which “provided a springboard to investigating ideas about the world in a more personal way”. Upon leaving school during his teens, Penny moved from sleepy Dorset to London, studying an art foundation at Heatherley School of Fine Arts in Chelsea. The artist then moved on to Bournemouth, and before finally studying for his BA degree at Newport College of Art.
During his study Giles "had the misconception that I would be doing painting and drawing, but I was thrown into the deep end. We made art films and installations. It was very interesting.” This influence gradually swayed him towards the sculptures which he is renowned for today.
Giles Penny was in the mid-1990’s artist in residence for The Body Shop, his work can be found in many public spaces including Canary Wharf and The Atrium Garden at the BBC. This particular sculpture 'Rise & Shine', takes its inspiration from the world of dreams and flying, are was created in 2007.
In 2017, Penny was elected as an Academician at RWA in Bristol, the only Royal Academy of Art outside of London. Giles has been a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors since 1996.
He states "My focus of expression is the human form, which acts as a vehicle to explore the interaction between physical and abstract worlds. I use various media including clay, wax, plaster, wood, and resin to originate sculptural forms,which usually result in a bronze cast."
There is then an interplay between the sculptural works and his paintings and prints. He has worked on large sculpture commissions as well as producing smaller pieces.
Penny investigates how something could look, and how an idea can grow into something visual. His art investigates ideas surrounding the nature of human beings, our relationship with nature and how humans disrupt the environment.
Most recently "Man and Arch" at Fulham Reach (2015), "Man on a Bench" Bruton, Somerset (2015).