Penny Goring: Penny World at ICA
Spanning 30 years of work, Penny World showcases the diverse range of tools and approaches that artist Penny Goring used to express herself artistically through the years. Pen drawings, sculptures, paintings but also videos and poetry helped the artist process and explore some of her darkest feelings at the toughest times. This is Goring’s first institutional solo exhibition, and the ICA wishes to highlight the links between the anxiety and dejection that the artist suffered due to financial difficulties with the state of austerity that continues to affect millions of people negatively.
The exhibition is completely introspective. From self-portraits to visual translations of her inner fears, the artist turns herself inside out without reservations or embellishments. Using simple materials she could find at home, Goring creates art pieces that are unapologetically raw and fully expose her vulnerability. Among the works on display is Art Hell (2019-20), a collection of 50 small drawings that see Goring giving shape to haunting visions caused by PTSD. Images of violence, contorted limbs or sexual encounters are outlined starkly in black ink on white paper. These miniature sketches stem from an urgency to rid the mind of the weight of trauma and they feature some of the artist’s recurring motifs.
Goring’s work is not art for art’s sake, but rather art as an indispensable outlet and a survival tool for the artist. Her creations are not made with a viewer in mind, they emerge from a spontaneous, compulsive process sparked by her subconscious. This is perhaps the greatest strength of the exhibition: the authenticity of the art and its purpose. There is no desire to impress, only to exist and to move past the pain of existing. Penny World is one woman’s personal journey of therapy and cathartic exercises turned into art. Although it is hugely intimate, it speaks of a widespread unease that plagues modern society, namely a deep stead anxiety that no outer factor and no government has done anything to appease.
Photo: Courtesy of Penny Goring / Arcadia Missa
Penny Goring: Penny World is at ICA until 18th September 2022. For further information visit the exhibition’s website here.