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Penny has worked on various commissions and collaborations. She has regularly collaborated with Phil Stanier of The Strange Names Collective, with whom she wrote an original performance for Utopia 2016 Festival at Somerset House/The Courtauld Institute, featured on this is tomorrow, and an original performance for Lakes Ignite 2018. She wrote a poem in collaboration with video artist Stella Ramsden and aerial silk dancer Amelia Merchant.  She wrote a four-part visual poem in response to a Holly Hendry solo show at Bosse and Baum Gallery. She's also been involved in collaborations and projects at BBC Arts, Tyneside Cinema, Tate Britain and BBC Radio York.

Major Commissions

2019-22: b-side Arts Festival, b-side

Commissioned to research, develop and deliver Poetryledge, in collaboration with professional mountaineering instructor and climbing partner Mike Norbury. Poetryledge involves co-existing with strangers on a climbing portaledge, writing poetry together about the experience of climbing and sitting on a sea cliff.

2019: New Creatives North, BBC Arts, Tyneside Cinema

Commissioned to develop a poem 'speaking because of bodies' (published in The Poetry Review, Winter Issue, 2019) into a short radio drama. This opportunity was co-funded by BBC Arts and Tyneside Cinema, and involved mentoring from BBC writer Katherine Beacon and Naked Productions.

Recording the narrator for 'speaking because of bodies'. Photo credit_ Naked Productions


2017-18: Lakes Ignite Festival, Lakes Culture

Commissioned to co-write a performance called 'The Buried Moon'. We visited local mines and interviewed specialists including geologists. We re-imagined the industrial history of mining in the Lakes as a futile endeavour to excavate a mythologically buried moon.



2015-16: Utopia Festival, Somerset House and The Courtauld Institute

Commissions to contribute original research and co-write on a performance work called 'The Naming of Clouds', directed by Phil Stanier of The Strange Names Collective. We drew from my PhD research into the conceptual history of clouds, and produced a three-part performance entailing a script-based studio performance, a durational performance staged on the balcony of Somerset House, and a set of digital photo-collages produced by Wayne Burrows.

Performing in the scored durational component of 'The Naming of Clouds', July 2016

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2015: Holly Hendry, More & More Is More, Bosse and Baum Gallery, Peckham, London

Commissioned to write a responsive poem in relation to the sculptural practice of artist Holly Hendry. The poem was published and distributed alongside the exhibition, and performed at the opening. 


2015: Bose Soundlink

Commissioned to write a poem for a Bose Soundlink advert, collaborating with aerial silk artist Amelia Merchant and video artist Stella Ramsden.


2019: Haarlem Artspace, with Institituto Procomum, Santos, Brazil

A week-long residency themed on "collectivism". Haarlem Artspace hosted UK-based artists alongside three members (co-founder and director, programmer and facilitator) from Instituto Procomum in Santos, Brazil - connecting us all to resident artists at Haarlem. The focus of the residency was not on "producing" work, but on listening to south perspectives on the commons, discussing concepts such as maintenance and care in relation arts practice, thinking and writing about the theory and practice of commoning. The residency was supported by the Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) programme by the British Council, aiming to empower women and girls, foster youth development, and support the inclusion of disabled people and other marginalised groups.













Photo credits: Rosie Reed Gold


2014: Merz Barn

A two-week residency, during which print-based artist Lukas Hornby taught me the basics of using a 19th-century Treadle Press. I type-set and produced limited edition prints of a poem written on-site, entitled 'The Sadness of Scything'. The poem was based on an agricultural arts workshop facilitated by collaborating artists on the residency.

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The Sadness of Scything, Penny Newell, c
The Sadness of Scything, Penny Newell, b
The Sadness of Scything, Penny Newell, c

2014: ARC, Stockton and The Tetley, Leeds

Two research and development residency programmes undertaken in collaboration with Aidan Moesby. During 'Fieldwork' at the ARC Stockton we developed a script for a scratch night of new work exploring the meeting point between art and science. We then further developed this work in residency at The Tetley, Leeds.

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