HUMANIMALS IN PRECARIOUS POSITIONS: MELANIE COOPER PENNINGTON
- Is this a Free Event? Yes
- Venue: Artlink Gallery
- Presented by: Artlink Gallery
- Dates: September 20, 2019 - October 25, 2019
- Address: 300 East Main Street Fort Wayne, IN 46802
- Admission: Free
- Phone: (260) 424-7195
- Website: Visit Website
- Email: E-mail
- Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes
Melanie Cooper Pennington has been sculpting for 20 years. It wasn’t until after marriage, two children and 12 years as an interior designer in Chicago that Melanie received an opportunity to pursue her dream of working as a full time artist. Prior to her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at Indiana University, Pennington began studying the figure at Wheaton College where she received her Bachelor of Arts (BA). She continued figurative anatomy studies at workshops in New York and Colorado, and has since participated in multiple artist residencies and curated exhibitions. She has recently shown with Sculpture in the Parks in Chicago, The Indianapolis Art Center and at The Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University where Melanie has worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture for the past 3 years.
By embodying forms in the likeness of whales, bison and elephants (animals that we keep our distance from because of their physical power and intimidating size), Cooper Pennington’s large-scale sculptures immediately trigger curiosity and wariness. Her ‘Beasts’ are, however, frequently soft and touchable, placed in precarious positions or engaged in a struggle with an opposing force, consequently probing the viewer’s capacity for empathy. The visceral materials by which Cooper Pennington constructs her work range from ceramic and steel to fur and wood. She uses her knowledge of human anatomy to anthropomorphize the beast - incorporating human signifiers that make the imagined creatures feel knowable.