My earliest paintings and drawings were made intuitively, and came from my inner life and memories. I turned to installations and combined media in the early 90's, prompted by the biography and poetry of Emily Dickinson and the work of other poets. This work was more formal yet there were always surprises to work with as I moved parts and pieces around. Frequently, I would place letters and words into these arrangements of objects, image and space. As I explored Victorian life and language, I found similarities in my own life—reflected in poems, histories and readings, which stimulated the development of my political, psychological and feminist ideas.

Returning to painting later on, I was ready to be back with the direct, spontaneous and intense nature of painting, and began to take a more solid look at content. Currently, I am returning to drawing, collage and printmaking as catalysts for new paintings, or as work that stands on its own.


© 2020 Barbara Penn designed by Alex Almli