Salon selection inspires

Penny Coss in her Hamilton Hill studio. Picture: Jon Hewson d439680
Penny Coss in her Hamilton Hill studio. Picture: Jon Hewson d439680

PERTH artist Penny Coss has been creatively energised since PICA curators Leigh Robb and Nadia Johnson invited her to exhibit in PICA Salon 2015.

�To be asked to be involved with such a dynamic group of other artists has been really invigorating,� Coss said.

�They�ve chosen a number of works of mine (13), which is very exciting and almost feels like I�m doing a new body of work for PICA.�

It has been 20 years since Coss last exhibited at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and the mother of two will join 18 other local, national and international artists exploring the concept of �epic narratives�.

The annual exhibition, now in its sixth year, is a contemporary take on the traditional Parisian �Salon� and is a major fundraiser for the institute.

Coss said she was an artist who liked to focus on the landscape of her local area, particularly the affects of long-term disasters from floods and fire to blooms and plumes.

�I�m interested in the way the landscape learns to forgive us but also how that affects the ecology,� she said.

�The works that I produce are like stains that are coming from the landscape, but they�re also making visible things that are not so visible.�

Coss was also influenced by research on the controversial history of the Monte Bello Islands atomic testing during the 1950s after seeing Lin Onus�s work Maralinga at the Art Gallery of WA.

�He spoke so poetically about something where we can�t even see the long term affects of radiation fallout,� she said.

�For an artist, I think it�s always about recognition and appreciation of the work you�ve done and the need to be understood.

�I choose a visual language to communicate and it�s important for me that that visual language is clear.�

Tanya MacNaughton


What: PICA Salon 2015

Where: PICA, Perth Cultural Centre

When: July 5 to August 16