Penny Davenport was born in Inverness, Scotland, and grew up in Minehead, in a house overlooking both the Bristol Channel and Butlin’s Holiday Camp. Penny studied Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University, and has remained in Liverpool since finishing her degree. Originally an abstract painter, she has returned to her first love: drawing characters from imagined stories. Penny has collaborated with several writers, artists and musicians, marrying her images and creative approach with other artforms. She has produced cover artwork for the Ninja Tune record label, is a member of a loose collective of artists, writers, musicians and film-makers in Liverpool, and she has recently been featured on the influential illustration blog, ‘A Journey Round My Skull.’ She is also featured in the Autumn/Winter 2010 issue of the Art Journal File, and several of Penny’s illustrations were recently used to accompany the work in the Swedish literary journal Subaltern.She has been working with ink on paper since 2006.
“I am interested in the mysteries of nature, both human and animal, and the myths and fantasies that are created from these themes. Old photographs of people I’ve never met, their facial expressions, physical gestures and languages…Human eyes in masks, the many different types of fur, birds. I like the stark contrast between light and dark, both in tone and content. I feel that my creatures are both, and I try to explore the area that rests between the otherworldly and the familiar. I like the effects film and photography have on us. There is an empathy and familiarity that we immediately feel when we look at photographs of strangers, and I hope that my drawings provoke a similar reaction. There are humanistic points of contact that reside within both.”