The art of tapestry weaving is one which Caron Penney has developed over a long career. This has
involved the creation of artwork for artists such as Tracey Emin, Martin Creed, John Hubbard and Gillian Ayres. Penney contributed to the book ‘Tapestry - a woven narrative’ published in 2011 and Authenticity and Replication: the ‘Real Thing’ in Art and Art Conservation, in 2014.
Penney studied Constructed Textiles at Middlesex University, graduating in 1993. Soon after this she began work at the West Dean Tapestry Studio were in 2009 she became the Studio Director. Penney runs her own Tapestry Workshop were she both interprets the work of other artists and her own designs.
Penney enjoys the narrative which tapestry has historically depicted. This combined with the use of the artist journal, creates a dialogue of notations which are developed and precisely woven in a carefully documented and ironic comment of life.
‘A defining characteristic of Penney’s own oeuvre is the use of visual semiotics in expressing autobiographical themes.’ Tom Howells - Tapestry A Woven Narrative, Black Dog Publishing.
As well as working on high-profile
commissions for the West Dean Tapestry Studio and her own Weftfaced Tapestry Workshop, Penney is a prolific exhibition-led weaver in her own right.
Penney travelled repeatedly to Manhattan from 2001 - 2012.
"My artwork uses both references to the street architecture, and structural comparisons between the warp and weft and the gridded road systems in New York. Often these themes respond to the ebb and flow of the daily migration across the City. The subject matter draws comparisons between societies need to function and the individuals need for identity and their subtle co-existence. This careful balance is represented in the meticulous repetition of patterns and shapes in my tapestries. My artwork reproduces familiar visual signs arranging them in sequences and rhythms."
"The colour red establishes a sense of separation within a dominant monochromatic palette. My ideas develop through observation, photography, sketches and the resulting tapestries. I use the same limited range of materials traditionally used to make hand woven tapestry, with the addition of dyed cotton warp thread which edges the finely woven pieces."
Penney has exhibited her work in London at the Saatchi Gallery, Hayward Gallery, V&A Museum and the Fleming Collection. She has work in both public and private collections across the UK.