Penny Byrne is a visual artist who uses materials such as vintage porcelain figurines and other found objects to create artworks that wield a powerful political message. These manipulated, mutilated and painted figurines explore issues concerning the environment, pop culture and global politics, all presented through Byrne’s inimitable mix of wry satire and playful humour. Byrne’s reputation as a respected ceramics conservator informs her practice, rendering her works as meticulous and studied subversions.
Penny Byrne’s recent solo exhibitions include Political Porcelain, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra (2011/12), Life is a Riot, Albury Library Museum, Albury, NSW (2012), Plausible Deniability, Sullivan+Strumpf Fine Art, Sydney (2011), and Penny Byrne: Commentariat, a Deakin University touring show (2011/12). Recent group exhibitions include Haunts and Follies, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2012), Made to Last, A NETS touring exhibition (2012/13), Clash: Contemporary Sculptural Ceramics, Newcastle Region Gallery, Newcastle (2011), and Thing: Beware of the Material World, Art Gallery of Western Australia (2009). In 2010, Byrne was featured as the subject of a documentary for the ABC TV program Artscape.