Penny Young is a sculptor and writer living in Burbank, California where she was born in 1965. The 0 at the end of her name is her potter's symbol and is a Chinese ideogram meaning egg, sun, day or life. Ms. Young graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1987 and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Fine Arts Degree Program in Studio Art at California State University, Northridge.
Penny has worked in various capacities as an artist, including potter's apprentice, art gallery salesperson and ceramic studio technician. Since the early nineties she has focused on teaching and taught as a high school substitute in the inner-city while teaching ceramics in the evenings to adults and children. For four years, she held a full-time position at Inner-City Arts in downtown Los Angeles. Most recently she lead ceramics groups at a boy's residential facility in Pasadena, California.
Ms. Young has exhibited work both nationally and locally since 1984, including the Los Angeles Biennial, Fiber Now, and NCECA. Penny's current work is installation based, paper being the primary material. Penny was first introduced to clay in junior high school, and learned wheel throwing at age twelve. At home she learned knitting, sewing, car repair and construction. Wood working was her primary medium in high school, but she returned to working in clay as an undergraduate student at UCSB and CSULB. She continues to make ceramic forms as well as work with fiber, found objects and installation. Penny also writes poetry and has included some in her rolodex work.
I just keep thinking about offices and utility and the constant cycle of chaos and order the materials experience every day. Clerks work so hard against the high category wind sweeping paper through their cubicles. Invisible filing deadlines build a palpable tension not unlike the barometric pressure before the formation of a tornado- What fascinates me is the short-term importance of each sheet of paper, and the ever-increasing bulk that is a by-product of this densely papered world. This work is about the mass we leave behind as well as the urgency of the flow of those papers during their sometimes turbulent production, approval, delivery, filing, and faxing.
Office equipment suffers a similar critically important, yet short life span. Machinery is outmoded and often discarded in full working order. Many of my earliest toys were such office supplies, and! have continued to collect these items from businesses, garage sales and swap meets. In altering the true function of these machines, I am reconciling my clerical and creative selves.