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Venice 2019. Opening night.

Born in Singapore, in 1968, Penelope Payne grew up in Lincolnshire; she graduated Newcastle University Fine Art Dept in 1992. She has shown work repeatedly at Middlesbrough Art Weekender, Cheesburn Sculpture Garden, London Q Park and Collateral Venice 2019.


From her studio in Cullercoats, on the North East Coast, Payne, creates sculptural, site-specific installation pieces and performative work. She is thematically concerned with female narratives, with a focus on unrecorded histories within the lives of working women. Her newest body of work, uses the compelling images of Winslow Homer to consider the lives of the Cullercoats fisherwomen.Through the medium of salt and tar she has created a series with a quiet,textured materiality. By using everyday material, Payne toys with ideas of time and piece-work to emphasise the quotidian. 


Payne’s short film, Horizons Performance, 2022 – a complementary addition to the new work, considers questions of place and location. Filmed on Cullercoats Beach the performance depicts a group of over 60 women obscuring the horizon at sunrise; each woman holds a hand sewn banner. Crafted by a local female collective, the banners represent the pleated skirts worn by the fisherwomen; each an expression of individuality. The act of holding the skirts and by doing so, of blocking the horizon, represents the literal occluding of women and their futures.

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