Penelope Cain updated profile

Penelope Cain


Penelope Cain has a MFA from Sydney College of the Arts (University of Sydney, 2016), and a previous background in animal science. She has exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne, London and Seoul and has recently been a finalist in the Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, and been awarded the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Traveling Scholarship to undertake research in Peru and Bolivia.

Landscape, in its widest terms, is central to my practice. I’m drawn to a nineteenth century geographic term from the German language, Kulturlandschaft: a landscape marked by human culture; bearing the manifest residues and remains of our cultural, physical and economic presence on the land. This is the inhabited, territorialised, extracted and transformed landscape of the Anthropocene.

In most recent work I have been pivoting from a colonial Australian currency, the ’Holey Dollars’, made by Governor Lachlan Macquarie from Spanish silver dollars in1812 to deal with currency shortage in colonial Sydney. In this I have been considering ideas around anthropogenic landscapes, histories of colonisation, and the molecular-level link between land, power and extractive economics.

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