See & buy the a selection of available Giles Penny editions for sale in our Editions Shop, or simply contact us to make an enquiry, please note that some available editions may not be listed above.
Giles Penny trained at the Heatherley School of fine art in Chelsea, a unique college that emphasises portraiture and figurative painting, sculpture and printmaking. Here he followed in the footsteps of William Russell Flint, Franz Kline, Frederic Lord Leighton and Walter Sickert. He then went on to Bournemouth College of art and finally Newport College of Art.
Shortly after graduating in the late 80’s Giles completed two portrait commissions: for Richard Branson and Anita Roddick.
The latter would establish him as artist in residence for the Body Shop and the Roddicks would become significant collector/patrons for over twenty years.
In 1990 Giles Penny created 23 large sculptures for the grounds of the Body Shop Headquarters in Littlehampton including life sized versions of Manet’s ‘Le Dejeuner sur L’Herbe’ and Seurat’s ‘The Bathers’ as well as two figures seemingly ‘rolling’ the Body Shop logo adjacent to the entrance on the A259.
Then in 1995 the Co-Op commissioned Penny to create ‘Noah in a Boat’, a centre piece for a lake at their Rochdale Headquarters.
This would start a long period of looking at Noah as a subject for Giles Penny, which then featured in paintings, prints, plaques and also bronzes, see Bust of Noah.
You can now see his work in Canary Wharf (Man with Arms Open and Two Men on a Bench) in East London and Fulham Reach (Man and Arch) and BBC White City (Rise and Shine) in West London.
Other large scale public pieces by are in Portsmouth, Bristol, Cheltenham, Newbury, Wolverhampton, and his home town of Bruton in Somerset.
The nature of his figures remains eternally elusive and the artist is reticent to talk much about his work, saying little and letting the work speak for itself.
We can say that there is an element of self-portraiture, humour and simplicity in form.
Giles has also resisted comparisons with other artists, but accepts the influence of Italian sculptor Giacomo Manzu.
Manzu is well known for his simplified human figures, which were highly symbolic often with allegorical meanings.
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 last forty years I’ve found that it’s the idea in conjunction with the making that completes the experience”
We at Zimmer Stewart have exhibited Giles Penny’s work since the early 2000’s when the he moved from Arundel to Somerset. He has exhibited throughout the UK and has work in Broomhill and Newby Hall Sculpture Parks.
British fashion journalist Felicity Green selected a sculpture by Giles Penny as her luxury item on Desert Island Discs in 2011.