Full Artist's statement
GENERAL STATEMENT Collected in museums, university and corporate acquisitions, Penny Harris's work is exhibited nationally and internationally. Her portfolios are broad-based as are her interests. Pinhole photography depicting domestic relationships, landscapes, portraits, and the montage Journey Series show her range of interests about the world we inhabit. She has created photographic stage sets and curated exhibitions involving art, theater, music, and poetry together. Night Walk, a recent forest installation projecting life-sized images on trees at night, blurred the relationship between humans and nature as the ghostly images seemed to emerge from within the tall trees of the Arboretum?s forest. Viewers are challenged to consider their time and place in nature. DOMESTIC LANDSCAPE STATEMENT "The home is a populace of contrasts that we survive by assuming roles that differ by person and shift by occasion. Our roles are behavioral boundaries that protect the family from danger, and from the unknown. Each family works within its own set of boundaries, an established equilibrium of behavior. The paradox of the family role equilibrium is that the same boundaries that protect us from the unknown may also inhibit our growth. I use a pinhole camera to portray the tension inherent in family roles. Old age and youth, sexuality and chastity, comfort and fear, affection and violence, abundance and deprivation are brought together to emphasize the boundaries between the contrasts. The distortion of the pinhole lens evokes the disorientation, the vertigo of earnest introspection. The viewer is asked to contemplate the boundaries in her home, and her own established role. Family members naturally resist change to the current role equilibrium, but none more so than ourselves. We are, perhaps unknowingly, the strictest guardians of our own roles. The Domestic Landscape series asks us to examine the family, the boundaries we push against and rest upon." JOURNEY/ MIDDLE JOURNEY Harris's montages refer to the relationship between primordial time, biological origins, and layers of cultural history. Begun as an intuitive process, these images are metaphors for the knowledge inculcated into the culture and therefore a part of us, before we are born.