Our latest Artist You Need To Know, brought to you by AIH Studios, is one who is genuinely interdisciplinary, having worked in an impressive variety of media. She’s often concerned with creating environments that the visitor may experience with multiple senses while encapsulated within an evocative space (or using her own words, this is ‘sensory architecture.’)


Within the realms of sculpture, photography, video, works on paper and interventions / installations (both in galleries and in the public sphere), Penelope Stewart has been creating works both ephemeral and intense for several decades. From her site : “Central to her practice is an engagement with space and place; its architecture, objects, history, politics, ideology and environment. Recently these interventions have explored the beehive metaphor in architecture, with connections between the symbolic, political and artistic spin-offs of the beehive, an eco-morphology that contemplates the hive, hive culture, desire and loss as metaphor for our utopian aspirations to return to the garden.”

Stewart’s site is an excellent resource, as we’re just offering a few of her more enticing works, so we encourage you to visit it here (The images above are from the installation Terminal (photographic screen print on organza creating a repeated module 7’ h x 9’w, number of modules 144, 500’ long) which was mounted in an abandoned train terminal, at Central Terminal, in Buffalo, New York, in 2006. You can learn more about this work here.) The images below are Stewart’s installation Vanitas, and you can read more about that project here.



Stewart has numerous received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council – Conseil des arts de l’Ontario and the Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada.Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts / Académie Royale des Arts du Canada in 2010, her large-format photographic works also garnered her the prestigious First Prize at Photo-Op, Toronto, and at the prestigious Centre for the Perceptual Arts, (CEPA), New York.

Stewart offers more information, and some insightful responses to the work below (an installation titled Botanique) here, at her site.

Her exhibition history is impressive. Selected solo exhibitions have been mounted at the following major institutions: Albright-Knox (Buffalo, NY); Musée d’art de Joliette, Québec; Ganna Walska Lotusland, Montecito, California; Koffler Centre of the Arts, Toronto; Oakville Galleries, Ontario; Tom Thomson Art Gallery; ACT Design Museum Canberra, Australia; Poimena Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. She’s also been awarded residencies at Open Studio in Toronto and Medalta Museum (Alberta): Musée Barthète, in France, has commissioned not just one, but is hosting a second architectural installation of her work.
This is truly just a sliver of Penelope Stewart‘s diverse artistic production: the images we’re including here are really just a teaser, and her site is an enjoyable and extensive overview of her art and aesthetic.