Penny Byrne Profile
Penny Byrne is a visual artist who uses materials such as vintage porcelain figurines and other found objects, including children’s toys, to create artworks that wield a powerful political message. Byrne’s often humorous and satirical viewpoint presents an ongoing inquiry into popular culture and international politics. Her training as a specialist ceramics conservator informs her practice.
She has a strong connection to the UK, undertaking her ceramics conservation training at West Dean College in West Sussex. She also completed an internship in the ceramics conservation lab at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She then went on to work for Plowden and Smith in Wandsworth before returning to Australia where she is now a highly sought after conservator working for many top institutions including The National Gallery of Victoria, Heritage Victoria, the Museum of Victoria and members of the Ceramics and Glass Circle of Australia.
She has completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), La Trobe University, Melbourne 1997, a Graduate Diploma (Ceramics and Glass Conservation and Restoration), West Dean College, United Kingdom, 1990, and a Bachelor of Art (Fine Art Ceramics) at RMIT University in Melbourne, 1987.
She has exhibited internationally and extensively in Australia. Solo exhibitions include iPROTEST, Art Basel Hong Kong (2013), Political Porcelain, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra (2011/12), Life is a Riot, Albury Library Museum, Albury, NSW (2012) and Penny Byrne: Commentariat, a Deakin University touring show (2011/12).
Byrne’s work is currently featured in the exhibition Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria (2013/2014).
In 2010 Byrne was the subject of a documentary for the ABC TV program Artscape.
Her work is held in numerous public and private collections in both Australia and internationally.