For the past twenty years, Penelope Wakeham has been utilising technology to create one-of-a-kind artworks that act as a reflection and extension of technology in art. Working primarily with a computer, and more recently with an iPad, Wakeham’s art seeks to materialise the ubiquitous light that emanates from contemporary technology – giving the light of a screen its own unique physicality and texture.
Rather than being demonstrative of abstract art theory, each piece is a reaction to a certain set of stimuli: the rounded mark of the cursor on the screen, the layers that create digital images, the difference between the translucent glow of colour from technology, against the physicality of colour in pigment prints. Each distinct work represents Wakeham’s enjoyment of process and the artistic mark, over any attempt to depict some emotion or mood.
Wakeham’s works, although employing the digital, are not repeatable prints. Painting with the cursor, rather than thinking of it as a ‘ brush’, her complex practice requires outputting the image xerographically, lifting the pigment layers which are then fixed onto canvas – this distinctive method giving the digital a new and un-imitable means of expression. Similarly, by allowing for accidents and imperfections, not normally visible with pieces created on a computer capable of alteration and airbrushing, Wakeham’s work is representative of both mass-produced technology and the individuality of the human hand that created it.
Penelope Wakeham has exhibited at The Usher Gallery, Lindum Rd. Lincoln, Orleans House Gallery, Richmond-on-Thames and New Greenham Arts, Berkshire, most recently showing at Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth. Group exhibitions include shows at Light Gallery, London, Deluxe Gallery, London and Trinity Buoy Wharf, London and with EWACC (an organisation that promotes UK/Japanese cultural exchange) in London’s Soho and Tokyo, Japan. Alongside this, Wakeham has work in private collections across the UK, Germany, Japan and Australia.