PENELOPE SLINGER
Penelope Slinger


Penelope Slinger


'Hear What I Say'

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Penelope Slinger

The art and the life of Penelope Slinger (b.1947 London) are inextricably interwoven. Hear What I Say is the second of three exhibitions focussing on the artist's early output; photographic collages, objects and sculptural works from the 1970s.

In 2009, her collages were exhibited at Tate St Ives as part of The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in Modern Art, Tate, and in Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists & Surrealism, Manchester Art Gallery.

In these pieces, Slinger uses the tools provided by Surrealism to penetrate the female psyche, presenting herself as both subject and object in a group of collages and montages which sidestep the then current themes of 1960s and 70s art. Exhibited in London in 1977, the work's explicit depiction of 'feminine power' and its anarchic approach to life, challenged and provoked many of her peers as well as the critics. The artist left Britain in 1979, never to return; the Riflemaker exhibition being the first time the work will have been shown publicly in almost forty years.

Initially published in book form under the title An Exorcism, the photo-collage series, seven years in the making, was created in the tradition of the classical 'photo-romance', taking its cue from Max Ernst's Une Semaine de Bonte and La Femme 100 TÍtes. In these works the artist explores the ultimate romance - the death and rebirth of Self. The action takes place in a deserted country mansion, the empty rooms of which represent the many chambers of a woman's being. Each image is a meditation on a particular state of consciousness. It represents a place where the lines between the world of dream and that of so-called 'reality' are undefined, as the subconscious is opened to the light of conscious scrutiny.

The series follows on from Slinger's first photo-book 50% The Visible Woman (1971) and the showing of her 3D works at the ICA's Young and Fantastic exhibition in 1969, when the artist was aged twenty-one. The final collection of the period, Mountain Ecstasy (1978), achieved a unique combination of the erotic and the mystical.

The narrative of this series has a 'mise-en-scène' which can be attributed to the artist's work with the all-women theatre troupe Holocaust (1971) and Slinger's appearance in and art direction of the feature film The Other Side of the Underneath (d. Jane Arden: now re-issued in a special edition by the BFI). In that year she also worked on the production and design for Picasso's play The Four Little Girls at the Open Space Theatre, London, at the same time developing an interest in Tantric Art which would guide her artistic and spiritual direction throughout the 1980s. She was named Woman of the Year in New York 1982, other recipients of the award being film director and union organiser Ellen Burstyn and US Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

The artist describes her output as a "map of the journey of the Self". Surrealism allowed her to delve into the subconscious and emerge with archetypal glyphs. The next logical step for the artist was to include Tantric and Visionary influences which brought a further dimension to her artistic journey. She has, since then, woven her own mode of Surrealism together with a radical approach to spiritual energy forming a bridge from the subconscious to the superconscious, the realm of unlimited potential.

Her many works include The Secret Dakini Oracle (1978), her illustrations for Sexual Secrets: the Alchemy of Ecstasy (1979 & 2000), The Secret Dakini Oracle (1979) & The Path of the Mystic Lover (1993).

---------------------------

"The primitive psyche has provided Penny Slinger with a brilliant means of expressing her drama. She unfolds the myth born from her own experience, the anatomy of her psyche, entwined with primordial images" Roland Penrose

"Penelope Slinger's exhibition showed us how powerfully a woman is able to transform Surrealism." Laura Mulvey, Spare Rib.

"Penny Slinger's latest photo-book is the ultimate expose. A cascade of photo-collage imagery which has all the emergent trepidation of Hesse's 'Steppenwolf'." Sheldon Williams, Art & Artists

Penelope Slinger was born in London in 1947, she took a pre-diploma at the Farnham School of Art and a degree in Art & Design at Chelsea College (1966-69). She exhibited in Young & Fantastic at the ICA on leaving college. Her work explores the human journey through life and time. She moved to America in the 1990s where she continues to work as an artist.

BIOGRAPHY

1969

Graduates from Chelsea College of Art, London, with First Class Honors Degree, Diploma in Art and Design. Her special interest is Surrealism.

1971
Set-design, acting and art direction with the all-woman theatre group, "Holocaust."

1971
Solo exhibition at Angela Flowers, London.

1971-3
Major performing role and art direction for The Other Side Of The Underneath (re-issued BFI 2011)

1971
50% -The Visible Woman, collages and overlaid poetry - published.

1973
Solo exhibition Opening at Angela Flowers.

1973
Achievement in Art Grant, Cassandra Foundation, Illinois. Exhibits Sao Paolo Biennial, Brazil.

1974
Exhibits at Nicholas Treadwell, London. Acts in video documentary Vibration.

1977
Publication of An Exorcism - with introduction by Sir Roland Penrose.

1977
The first colour book, The Book of Matan published.

1977
Solo exhibition Inner Space, at Patrick Seale, London. exhibit Secrets at Mirandy, London.

1978
Included Surrealism & Company In This Decade Camden Arts Centre, and Transformaction at Angela Flowers, London, and London group exhibition Metamorphosis, University of Cambridge, England.

1980
moved to the West Indies where she lived until 1994

1992
Featured in Addressing the Forbidden, Edinburgh Festival.

2009
Featured in The Dark Monarch, Tate St Ives, curated by Michael Bracewell, Martin Clark and Alun Rowlands

2009
Featured in Angels of Anarchy Manchester Art Gallery, curated by Dr. Patricia Allmer.

2011
A Photo-Romance at Riflemaker, London
Penelope Slinger
Penelope Slinger
Penelope Slinger
'Self-Image' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Waiting-Room' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Alluring' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Bandit' (1973) 3D sculpture 30 x 30 x 30 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Diamond Sutra | Deliverance' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Her Deep Throat': photographic collage on card, 8 x 7 ins (1973)
Penelope Slinger    Penelope Slinger
'Keychained' : (1973) 30 x 30 x 30 cm, chained 3D mask in acrylic box
Penelope Slinger
'I Speak What I See' (1973) 24 x 19 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Bird in the Hand' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Ariadne's Threads', (2012) photo-collage with chain, 26 x 19 ins
Penelope Slinger
'O' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'He crows, he crows, he crows' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Licking her Lips': photographic collage on card, 8 x 7 ins (1973)
Penelope Slinger
'Enchanted Forest' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Resurrection' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Sigh of the Rose' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm



PENELOPE SLINGER

'Hear What I Say'

PRIVATE VIEW: MONDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2012 6-9pm

EXHIBITION: Ends on Wednesday 14 November

click to download PENELOPE SLINGER press release

click to download hi-res images for press use

click to download PDF of work in the exhibition
Penelope Slinger
Penelope Slinger
Penelope Slinger
'Self-Image' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Waiting-Room' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Alluring' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Diamond Sutra | Deliverance' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger    Penelope Slinger
'Keychained' : (1973) 30 x 30 x 30 cm, chained 3D mask in acrylic box
Penelope Slinger
'Bird in the Hand' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'O' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'He crows, he crows, he crows' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Enchanted Forest' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Resurrection' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
Penelope Slinger
'Sigh of the Rose' : photographic collage on card (1977) 50 x 35 cm
PENELOPE SLINGER

'A Photo-Romance'


"No one else deals as directly with both the physical and the spiritual self." Norbert Lynton, the Guardian.

"Her achievement is singular. She emerges as one of the most active and socially relevant artists around." Peter Fuller, Art & Artists.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The art and the life of Penelope Slinger (b.1947 London) are inextricably interwoven.

'A Photo-Romance' focuses on the artist's photographic collages from the mid to late 1970s. In these seminal works, Slinger uses the tools provided by Surrealism to penetrate the feminine psyche, presenting herself as both subject and object in a group of collages and montages which sidestep the prevalent themes of 1960s and 70s contemporary art. Exhibited in London in 1977, the work's explicit depiction of 'feminine power' and its anarchic approach to life, both challenged and outraged many of her peers as well as the critics. The artist left Britain in 1979, never to return. 'A Photo-Romance' will be her first solo exhibition here for thirty-two years.

Initially published in book form under the title 'An Exorcism', the series, seven years in the making, was created in the tradition of the classical 'photo-romance', taking its cue from Max Ernst's 'Une semaine de bont&eactute;' and 'La femme 100 têtes'. In these expressive works the artist explores the ultimate romance - the death and rebirth of Self. The series followed on from Slinger's first photo-book '50% The Visible Woman' (1971) and the showing of her 3D works at the groundbreaking 'Young and Fantastic' at the ICA in 1969, when the artist was aged twenty-one. The final collection of the period 'Mountain Ecstasy' (1978) achieved a unique combination of the erotic and the mystical.

In the works to be exhibited at Riflemaker, the action takes place in a deserted country mansion, the empty rooms of which represent the many chambers of a woman's being. Each image is a meditation on a particular state of consciousness. It represents a place where the lines between the world of dream and that of so-called 'reality' are undefined, as the subconscious is opened to the light of conscious scrutiny.

The narrative has a 'mise en scène' which can be attributed to the artist's work with the all-women theatre troupe Holocaust (1971) and her appearance in and art direction of the feature film 'The Other Side of the Underneath', (d. Jane Arden: re-issued this month in a special edition by the BFI). In that year she also worked on the production and design for Picasso's play 'The Four Little Girls' at the Open Space Theatre, London, at the same time developing an interest in Tantric Art which would guide her artistic and spiritual direction throughout the 1980's. She was named one of the 'Women of the Year' in New York 1982, other recipients of the award being director and union organiser Ellen Burstyn and US Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

Slinger describes her output as a "map of the journey of the Self". Surrealism allowed her to delve into the subconscious and emerge with archetypal glyphs. The next logical step for the artist was to include Tantric and Visionary influences which brought a further dimension to her artistic journey. She has, since then, woven her own mode of Surrealism together with a radical approach to spiritual energy which can form a bridge from the subconscious to the superconscious, the realm of unlimited potential.

Her many works include 'The Secret Dakini Oracle' (1978), her illustrations for 'Sexual Secrets: the Alchemy of Ecstasy' (1979 & 2000), 'The Secret Dakini Oracle' (1979) & 'The Path of the Mystic Lover' (1993). From 1980-94 she lived in the West Indies, subsequently moving to the US where she currently resides in Boulder Creek, California.

In 2009, her collages were exhibited at Tate St Ives as part of 'The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in Modern Art', Tate, and in 'Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists & Surrealism', Manchester Art Gallery.

-----------------------------------------------------------

"The primitive psyche has provided Penelope Slinger with a brilliant means of expressing her drama. She unfolds the myth born from her own experience., the anatomy of her psyche, entwined with primordial images." Roland Penrose

"Penelope Slinger's exhibition showed us how powerfully a woman is able to transform Surrealism." Laura Mulvey, Spare Rib.

"Penelope Slinger's latest photo-book is the ultimate expose. A cascade of photo-collage imagery which has all the emergent trepidation of Hesse's 'Steppenwolf'." Sheldon Williams, Art & Artists

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Penelope Slinger was born in London in 1947, she took a pre-diploma at the Farnham School of Art and a degree in Art & Design at Chelsea College (1966-69). She exhibited in Young & Fantastic at the ICA on leaving college. Her work explores the human journey through life and time. She lives and works in Boulder Creek, California.

2. Riflemaker was opened in 2004 by collectors Virginia Damtsa and Tot Taylor, The gallery is housed in one of London's oldest public buildings, a Georgian riflemaker's workshop dating from 1712. Riflemaker exhibits the work of the very best emerging international artists in this unique historic space.