Penelope Keeling

2018, BA (Hons) Fine Art, Arts University Bournemouth

"As an exponent of mindfulness and as a practising reiki master my interests have naturally gravitated towards the concepts of ritual, ceremony and the esoteric in art. My practice is organic with primary work based on drawing. I take a holistic approach and mark-making through layering is a vital aspect of my practice. I investigate these processes through colour in both painting and printmaking. I appropriated the mandala to question whether our modern cultural values are aligned or at odds with the spiritual perspective deliberately juxtaposing these themes within a corporate scenario. For Pharma Mandala I depicted the profits of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, as listed in Forbes, questioning the dissonance between Western society’s prevailing profited institutions versus actual investment in research. This textile covered the lectern at the University Church in Oxford which, used as a court in the 16th century, became a wonderful venue to covertly put the Pharma industries on trial. Using the paradigm of the elements as a platform for my work I have investigated the elements of fire and water through the allegories of Prometheus and Narcissus respectively to investigate the nefarious arms trade, our digital self-obsession and husbandry towards the environment. For the archetype of spirit, I appropriated the vanitas and memento more through a series of semi-figurative and abstract acrylic paintings. My current fascination in juxtaposing the spiritual with the corporate; the sacred with the geopolitical will no doubt be replaced by fresh interests. Nevertheless, I hope that the thread imbued in my work would be the connection between art and the material world and our desire to uncover some universal truth."
PHARMA MANDALA
Digital Print on aluminium
80 cm x 80 cm
Sugar Vanitas
Painting 
60 cm x 60 cm
Vita Vanitas
Painting 

60 cm x 60 cm

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