Pinky Pinky series (2002/3)

Penny Siopis - Ronaldo
Pinky Pinky 

two photo plates and three ball grained plates
78 x 50.5 cm
Edition 40
Penny Siopis - Zimbabwe Farmer
Pinky Pinky 
(Zimbabwe Farmer)

two photo plates and three ball grained plates
78 x 50.5 cm
Edition 40
Penny Siopis - Model Prisoners
Pinky Pinky 
(Model Prisoners)

two photo plates and three ball grained plates
78 x 50.5 cm
Edition 40
Penny Siopis - Untitled
two colour lithograph
75.4 x 106 cm
Edition 25

In the Pinky Pinky Series Penny explores the psychological and mythical terrain of South African teenage girls. Pinky Pinky is a ''mythical" figure that makes himself known to pre-pubescent and pubescent girls in the largely Black townships and schools of South Africa. He tends to be an urban creature but has put in an appearance in rural areas. Pinky Pinky haunts toilets, mostly public toilets, and places where teenage girls find themselves alone. He molests girls and has been accused of rape. Pinky Pinky is a very real figure for many girls and embodies the fears and anxieties that girl's face as their bodies develop and their social standing changes. He can also be seen as a figure that has grown out of the neurosis that can develop in a society that experiences such change and tension as is found in Southern Africa. It is also a society in which rape and the abuse of women and children is extremely high.

Pinky Pinky is a figure that does not get discussed much by adults and is virtually unknown of in White society and yet he permeates the reality of many South Africans. Penny chose to work with this as a theme in the recent prints that she did at The Artists' Press. For the three smaller prints Penny used the Star newspaper (a Johannesburg daily) as her starting point. Thus Renaldo (it was the time of the World Cup), a Zimbabwean Farmer (Zimbabwean land crisis reaching fever pitch) and Model Prisoners (widespread corruption at Bloemfontein prison exposed by inmates on video) are used as a way of conveying some of the facets represented by Pinky Pinky. In Untitled, Penny creates a sense of the suffocating effect that Pinky Pinky can have for some.

Lithographs (1999)

Penny Siopis - Umtatarama
three colour lithograph
35 x 31 cm
Edition 50

Umtatarama was the first print that Penny did at The Artists' Press and refers to the cinema called Umtatarama that her father owned in Umtata. The figure in the print is of Penny's grandmother as a child.


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Penny SiopisBORN  1953, Vryburg, Western Cape, South Africa


1974 BA Fine Arts with distinction, Rhodes University, Grahamstown

1976 MA Fine Arts with distinction, Rhodes University, Grahamstown

1979 Postgraduate course in painting, Portsmouth Polytechnic, United Kingdom

1980-3 Lecturer in Fine Arts, Natal Technikon, Durban

1984 Lecturer in Fine Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

1993 Visiting research fellow, Leeds University, United Kingdom

Penny has curated and organised a number of exhibitions, including "South African Womenıs Mail Art" in the USA in 1990; "Women Choose Women" in South Africa in 1991; "Pictures as History" in South Africa in 1991.

She has also worked in a number of community projects and contributed to anti-apartheid arts activities throughout South Africa.


1978 Collectors Gallery, Jhb

1979 British Council Student Centre, London, United Kingdom

1980 Hiscook Gallery, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

1982 NSA Gallery, Durban, Natal

1983 Market Gallery, Jhb

1987 Goodman Gallery, Jhb

1990 "History Paintings", Goodman Gallery, Jhb

1994 "Private Views", Standard Bank Gallery, Jhb


1978 "SA Art", touring USA and West Germany
Two person exhibition with Gill Maylam, Settlers Museum, Grahamstown, and Natal Society of Arts Gallery, Durban

1981 Two person exhibition with Peter Schutz, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg

1982 "Cape Town Triennial", South African National Gallery, Cape Town and national tour

1983 Two person exhibition with Clive van den Berg, Café Gallery, Durban
"Natal Artists" exhibition, Durban Art Museum, and Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
"Natal Lecturers" exhibition, Studio Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand, Jhb

1984 Two person exhibition with Peter Shutz, Gallery International, Cape Town Inaugural Exhibition, SA Association of the Arts Gallery, Pretoria
Wits Fine Art Staff Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Jhb

1985 "Cape Town Triennial", South African National Gallery and National tour
"Women Artists in South Africa", South African National Gallery, Cape Town
"Womenıs Art", NSA Gallery, Durban
"Tactile" exhibition for the blind and partially sighted, Durban Art Gallery
"Tributaries: A View of Contemporary South African Art", Old Market Johannesburg and West German Tour

1986 Two person exhibition with Peter Shutz, Goodman Gallery, Jhb
"Volkskas Atelier Award Exhibition", SA Association of the Arts, Pretoria
Wits Fine Art Staff Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Jhb
"Basal International Art Fair", Switzerland, with Peter Schutz

1987 "Vita Art Now", sponsored by AA Mutual Life, Johannesburg Art Gallery
Standard Bank National Drawing Competition, Johannesburg Art Gallery
"Culture in another South Africa", Netherlands
"Happy Birthday Andrew", portfolio of graphics by various artists to celebrate Andrew Versterıs 50th Birthday, Goodman Gallery, Jhb
Designs for tapestries woven by Marguerite Stephens, Goodman Gallery Jhb

1988 "Cape Town Triennial", Cape Town
"Basel International Art Fair", Switzerland

1989 Exhibition at the Portsmouth Collection, United Kingdom

1990 Curated and exhibited "South African Women's Mail Art", USA

1991 "Art from South Africa", United Kingdom
"Vita Art Now", Johannesburg Art Gallery
"Cape Town Triennial", Cape Town

1993 "Parallel", exhibition for South African entry Venice Biennale, Italy
"Absent Bodies/Present Lives", United Kingdom
"Southern Cross", Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands

1994 "God Bless Africa", Elizabeth Gordon Gallery, Durban
"Anything Boxed", Goodman Gallery, Jhb
"The Banquet", Standard Bank Gallery, Jhb
"Displacements: South African Works on Paper, 1984-1994", Block Gallery, Evanston, USA
"Spaces of Power", Newtown Gallery, Jhb
Fifth Havana Biennial, Cuba
Work selected from the Fifth Havana Biennial shown at the Ludwig Kunsforum, Germany

1995 "Africus Johannesburg Biennale" - participated in three core exhibitions: "Black Looks White Myths" (Spain and South Africa), Museum Africa, "Taking Liberties - the Body Politic" (South Africa), Wits Art Galleries, "Objects of Defiance - Spaces of Contemplation" (South Africa and USA), Museum Africa
"Vita Art Now", Johannesburg Art Gallery, Jhb
"Objects of Defiance/Spaces of Contemplation", South African National Gallery, Cape Town
"Panoramas of Passage: Changing Landscapes of South Africa", Standard Bank National Festival of the Arts, Grahamstown. This exhibition was organised by the Meridian Centre, Washington, USA and traveled to various museums in the USA
"On the Road", Delfina Studio Gallery, London. The exhibition was part of the Africa 95 Festival in September. It included artists from South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
"Siyawela: Love, Loss and Liberation in Art from South Africa", Arnolfini, Bristol, UK. Travelled in the UK
"Mayibuye Africa", Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
Kwangju Biennale (Korea) - one of two South African artists selected
"Eight from South Africa", Centre for the Arts, San Francisco, USA

1996 "Gay Rights, Rites, Rewrites" Gertrude Posel Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand (Travelled Nationally)
"Earth and Everything: Recent Art from South Africa", Arnolfini, Bristol, UK. Travelled in the UK
"Simunye", Ten South African Artists, Adelson Galleries, New York, USA
"Faultlines: Enquiries into Truth and Reconciliation, The Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal
"Donıt Mess with Mr. In-between: 15 Artists from South African",

1997 "Contemporary Art from South Africa", The National Touring
Exhibition Oslo and traveled to various venues in Norway
"Lift Off", Goodman Gallery, Jhb
Sixth Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba
"Purity and Danger", Gertrude Posel Gallery, Wits University
"Photo-synthesis", Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and travelling nationally
Wits Alumni Exhibition, Gertrude Posel Gallery, Wits University Jhb
"Africus Johannesburg Biennale", "Alternating Currents", Electric Workshop, Jhb
"Cram, Goodman Gallery at the South African Association of Arts Cape

1998 "Five South African Artists", Fotofest, Houston, USA


1978 British Council Scholarship for Postgraduate study in the United Kingdom

1985 Merit Award, Cape Town Triennial

1986 Winner of the Volkskas Atelier prize to live and work at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
Anderson Capelli Research Award, University of the Witwatersrand, Jhb

1988 Vita Art Now quarterly Award - Merit Award

1991 Vita Art Now - Special Merit Award
Wits University Council Overseas Fellowship

1992 Artist in Residence, National Festival of the Arts, Grahamstown
Guest Artist, South African National Gallery


Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, USA
Durban Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
King George VI Gallery, Port Elizabeth
Rembrandt Van Rijn Art Foundation, Stellenbosch
Rhodes University, Grahamstown
Roodepoort Museum
South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Pretoria Art Museum
Natal Tecknikon
Trust Bank
University of the Witwatersrand Art Galleries

Links: Penny Siopis on Artthrob 








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