Artist Profile: Penny Dunstan

Penny Dunstan, one of the PODzome exhibiting artists explains how the curatorial process can affect an artwork as she experienced that when hanging her work for the exhibition on Monday.

Penny says: “Yesterday the work Pastpresent went up on the wall. The curator had previously given me a format of 6m by 2 m and when we had finished hanging it according to the idea in my head, it was just as I had feared/expected. The work was strong and spoke loudly of coal based metaphoric geologies, and disjuncture and networks trying to re-establish themselves across boundaries.  My geoscience friends liked it.

However the gallery is full of an aesthetic of playfulness and beauty, thus the curator took the decision to direct a change in the hanging. This is the curator’s choice and responsibility. A gallery of works made by many people must be compatible with each other. Luckily my work is modular and it was just a rearrangement of the constituent parts to change the tone, alter the voice and fit the work into the mix.”


Penny also shares her thoughts on the work on the wall.

Penny  Dunstan
Pastpresent  2014
Paper, ink, crayon, charcoal, lighting

“Inspired by the affective power of the harsh edged overburden heaps of the upper Hunter, this work is about how realities are brought in to existence.

This is land not broken although it is in pieces, not demolished although it is crushed, oddly familiar yet wildly alien. Broken networks are visible even as new networks are forming. The embodied presence of this paper relief work stares back at the viewer, to dare the viewer into relational accountability.

Rationality and objectivity fly away like rock dust on the wind, to be replaced by affect and emotion linked with both the past remembered landculture and the new landform present yet confrontingly foreign.”


To see Penny’s work, come to the PODzome exhibition.

Venue: University of Newcastle Gallery

Exhibition opening: Friday 12 September 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: 10 – 27 September

Gallery hours: Wed – Fri 10 – 5, Sat 12 – 4. Other times by appointment.

Access: Both the gallery and toilets are wheelchair accessible. There is one disability parking spot outside the gallery.


To see more of Penny Dunstan’s work, visit her website.