Venue address: Zimmer Stewart Gallery, The Crypt, Ford Road Cemetery BN18 9EA
Born in 1962 Giles Penny is a British artist who divides his time between sculpture, painting and printmaking. Giles trained at The Heatherly School of Fine Art, Chelsea, Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Newport College of Art. Shortly after graduating in the late 1980's Giles Penny completed two portrait commissions: Richard Branson and Anita Roddick. The latter would establish Giles Penny as artist in residence for the Body Shop and a private collection of work that would continue to grow over the next 20 years.
In 1990, Giles Penny created 23 large sculptures for the Body Shop Headquarters. These included full size versions of Manet' Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe and Seurat's The Bathers (see images below).
His focus of expression is the human form, which acts as a vehicle to explore the interaction between physical and abstract worlds and often portrays an innocent humorous quality. The nature of his figures remains eternally elusive. His paintings are instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with his sculpture.
Giles Penny has been associated with Arundel Gallery Trail since the early 1990’s, and in 1996 his 12ft high ‘Flatman’ sculpture was the placed on the Causeway Roundabout. This was the first time a large scale piece were placed there. Over the years many other lFestival sculptures followed including Box of Birds, Man Who Caught the Sun, Miss A27 in 2000 and Waving Man in 2018 to celebrate thirty years of the Gallery Trail. In 2006 his ‘Two Men on a Bench’ was placed in Arundel Castle grounds.
Giles Penny says “I don’t like being limited to just one medium, I work on several pieces at once until something is complete. I am driven by the feeling that my next piece of work will be my finest, but when I reflect on my work over the past forty years I’ve found it’s the idea in conjunction with the making that completes the experience”
His large scale pieces can be seen in many public spaces including: Golden Square, London; Canary wharf, London; Body Shop International; Fulham Reach, London; Liminster Church, Sussex; Wolverhampton city centre; Bruton, Somerset.