Naked Milky Way - Penny Davenport

Torch Press


Naked Milky Way by Penny Davenport / 96-page paperback with rounded corners, 7.25 x 10.1 inches, published by Torch Press (Japan) / color offset printing / ISBN 9784907562465 / text in Japanese and English

I've been trying to get my hands on this book since it was first mentioned by OTP Copenhagen two years ago...


“The first thing that strikes most people when looking at Penny Davenport’s works is a child-like aesthetic, something akin to naiveté. It’s an effect that makes her images feel authentic and approachable.” This explanation, offered by Oscar Gilbert, director of OTP Copenhagen, in his text accompanying this collection, guides us towards a better understanding of the characteristic human-animal hybrid figures that are a recurring theme the artist’s images. Although she is best known for intricate and labour-intensive drawings that fill the paper with minutely detailed pen strokes, in recent years Davenport has also developed a painting practice that extends her interest in the enigmatic.


Penny Davenport is a visual artist based in Liverpool (UK) whose depictions of anthropomorphic animal characters and daydreamed landscapes explore the psychological nuances of bodily experience and complexities of inter-personal relationships. The figures that appear in Davenport’s compositions are decidedly non-human, yet perform human traits: they stand on two feet, they often cluster together holding hands, and they gaze out at the viewer with eyes that suggest feelings of empathy and understanding. They sport furry snouts, feathers and other characteristics that mark these silent gentle beings out as recognisably different to human animals. However, they also encourage a projection of conscious agency and an uncanny recognition of selfhood in their display of gestures and facial expressions, indicative of an inner life just like our own.

This publication is structured to focus on Davenport’s recent paintings and drawings. In his recent paintings, Davenport draws directly on wooden boards and uses touches that bring the texture of the canvas to life.

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