Robyn Penn is a South African born New Zealand artist living and working in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and art fairs both locally and internationally, most notably The Parkin Drawing Prize 2022; The Waikato Museum National Contemporary Art Award 2019, New Zealand; The Ampersand Fellowship 2019, South Africa; AKAA Paris Art Fair 2018 and 2019; /‘atmes fir/‘ 2017, New York) and Postcard 2014, Art First Projects, London. Her work has been consistently shown in the Turbine, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Latitudes Art Fairs in South Africa. Selected solo exhibitions include God’s Away on Business (FORMS Gallery, Cape Town, 2022); News from Another World (Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2019); Paradise Lost (Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2017) and Cloud of Unknowing (David Krut Projects, Johannesburg, 2016).
Penn was awarded the Ampersand Fellowship in 2012 and the Bickerton – Widdowson Trust Memorial Scholarship, NZ in 1998. She has been a finalist in both the Sasol New Signatures Competition, SA (2001, 2002 and 2003) and the Absa L’Atelier, SA (2001 and 2005). Her work is represented in private, corporate and academic collections, notably in The Smithsonian, Washington, DC, USA and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
“Penn’s work,” writes art critic Ashraf Jamal, “invites an audience to inhabit a world, which, in truth, is fast becoming uninhabitable. Preoccupied with the crisis of climate change, her works aren’t designed to assuage our fears, but in their muted, quiet, yet unerringly uncertain manner, ask us to embrace unsettlement, to take that unsettlement to heart.”