Approved: 03.09.2009

Pen Dalton

Artist, Researcher

Approved: 03.09.2009
  • Location: Walthamstow, London
  • Activities: Practice-based research, Studio practice
  • Categories: Painting, Research
  • Tags: paint, 'finish', good paint job, analogy,








      “Dalton’s [painting] looks informal, loose and organic, only in that figures appear as a result of painterly  processes such as throwing, dripping, stippling, blobbing or pouring. What at first sight might be mistaken for spontaneity is highly precise and controlled, almost an aggregation of abstract painting “techniques”..... it has ... elements of the virtuoso performance". Andy Parkinson reviewing the exhibition Contemporary British Abstraction in his Patterns that Connect blog. 

      These paintings identify with the working-class notion of 'the paint job.”  A good paint job offers value for money and unashamedly reveals painting as an economic activity. It sets out to produce a high finish, a pleasing decorative effect, and is not afraid of revealing technique. Historically, many contractual paint jobs are now regarded as 'art'.  

      My sources are drawn from fine art painting techniques and genres - notably Rococo - as well as artisanal painting practices such as nail-art, coach-painting, housepainting, wallpaper, tole painting and card-art.  

      [The prices of these paintings are tied to an imaginary DFS Sofa index:  £250 - £2500]



      CV & Education


      1st Degree: Goldsmiths Art College 

      MA:  Sussex University 

      PhD: Plymouth University 

      art shows

      2015, 1/6 - 31/6 solo: Pen Dalton, Paint Jobs  Marylebone Parish Church Crypt, London [paintings]

      2015 Easter:  group: Stations of the Cross, Brentwood Cathedral, Brentwood, Essex, UK [now housed in The Komechak Art Gallery, Springfield, Ill USA] [painting]

      2015, 28/02 - 11/04  group: Contemporary British Abstraction SE9 Container Gallery, London [painting]

      2014-15, 1/11 - 31/3  group: Contemporary British Painting: Priseman-Seabrook Collection. Huddersfield Art Gallery. Yorkshire, UK [painting]

      2014-15, 15/11 - 8/3:  group: @PaintBritain Ipswich Art School Gallery, Colchester and Ipswich Museums, UK [painting]

      2014, 2/02 - 16/02 mixed:  Artness. Artmeet Gallery, Milan. Italy [painting]

      2014, 1/05 - 2/11 mixed: A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution. Victoria and Albert Museum, London [screenprinted poster]

      2014, 1/1 - 2/02  Solo:  Stuff and Nonsense Tokarska Gallery Walthamstow, London [Installation, prints and paintings]

      2014, 1/10 - 31/10  mixed:  Inspired by Morris William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, London. [painting with applied print]

      2003, 1/8-1/9 solo: Imprinting Works Dartington Hall Gallery, Devon, UK [printed artworks]

      2002-03, 5/12 - 23/3   mixed: Propaganda Posters From the Schreyer Collection Victoria and Albert Museum, London [poster]

      1998, 1/09-30-09   group; 8 women, 4 British, 4 Spanish: Exposition de Grabado Contemporaneo [Eight contmporary women printmakers] Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain, British Council.       

      1998 April-July 1/04-31/07   {C}mixed: The Power of the Poster Victoria and Albert Museum, London

      1994, 1/02 Installation/paper: Does your mother come from Ireland?  Women's Art Histories Conference, Leeds University

      1994, 31/03  Installation: Does your mother come from Ireland? At 'Gendered Narratives' Conference, University of Ulster at Coleraine. 

      1989 mixed. News Arts Council Sponsored, exhibition of Women's Art, Spacex Gallery, Exeter; Truro Art Gallery.

      1988 solo:  Daddy's Girl  Sisterwrite Gallery, Upper street London [printed work]

      1987 solo:  The Maternal (limited edition prints) Exeter and Devon Arts Centre, Devon, UK

      1987  mixed:  'Prints With a Point', Hard Times Gallery, Bristol, UK [limited edition prints]

      1984  group: 3 Women Artists Battersea Arts Centre, London

      1982  group:  Reflections: 5 Women Artists Aspex Gallery. Portsmouth. 

      1980  solo: Frameworks [paintings] Arts Alliance. Cambridge Terr. Mews. London. 

      reviews, citations,memberships etc

      2013, Member of Contemporary British Painting Group.

      2013, member of london based group Artlyst

      prints in the Victoria and Albert Museum  <>

      painting [2013] in Swindon Art Gallery permanent collection

      painting in Priseman-Seabrook collection [see catalogue]

      cited in Concise Dictionary of Women Artists ed Delia Gaze p. 128

      Discussion of art work ‘The Dress’ in Doy, G Drapery: Classicism and Barbarism in Visual Culture. IB Taurus: London/New York. pp. 187-190

      Watkins, S. A, Rueda. M; and Rodriguez, M  Introducing Feminism. p 85

      Feminism for Beginners, edited by Susan Alice Watkins

      1992 Marisa Rueda and Marta Rodriguez 1992  Allen & Unwin Aust. & Icon Books (UK)  

      Poster and discussion of work in Power of the Poster, Timmers, M. (ed.) V&A publications.

      McQuiston, L, Suffragettes to She Devils: Women's Lib and Beyond. Phaidon. 3 Posters reproduced.

      review: 3 Women Artists in City Limits July 20-26  Amanda Sebestyn

      illustration of work in Weill, Alain The Poster: A Worldwide Survey and History, Sothebys publication p. 353

      Phillipe Political Graphics: Art as a Weapon. Phaidon p. 300 Phaidon.

      ‘Pandora: Naughty but Nice’ reproduced in and: Journal of Art & Education

      Cartoons reproduced in Rowe, M. (ed) Spare Rib Reader . p. 383 & 393

      Cartoon in Pork Roasts: 250 Feminist cartoons Rosenberg. A. L. (ed.) University of British Colombia

      published/commissioned writings:-

      online reviews

      'Nadiya Pavliv-Tokarska / Contemporary Cityscape. After E Hopper and D Hepher'

      "Lia Vio: Solely in my Head"

      "Surface tension: A Modernist Show?"

      published criticism, reviews, research in print

      2012 ‘Full Stop’ in Rogers,H. ed., I See What You're Saying: The Materialisation of Words in Contemporary Art, BIAD/Ikon Publications, Article Press, Birmingham.

      2008. PhD Thesis. ‘Family and Other Relations: A thesis examining the extent to which familial relations are embedded in the relations of art’ [situated in the Wittgensteinian ‘family relations’ theory of art.] Plymouth University.

      2006/7 Article: ‘Feminist Methodologies in Art Education: Critique’ in the International Journal, n.paradoxa, vol 17 [ re-published in Documenta 12 in Kassel 2007]  

      2001 Monograph [book]: The Gendering of Art Education: Modernism Identity and Critical Feminism, Open University Press,

      2005. Art criticism: ‘Textures of memory’ in Barbara Howey’s exhibition catalogue Techniques of Memory. Huddersfield Art Gallery.

      2006 Art criticism: “Like” in Henry Rogers ed.’, Article Press, Birmingham Art Becomes You!: Parody, Pastiche and the Politics of Art. Materiality in a Post-material Paradigm (chapter) 

      2006 catalogue essay: My Sponsor is the Leader of the Country. Elizabeth Rowe, digital collage <>

      2004 Art criticism: ‘Losing it’ essay for catalogue for show Losing It of screen based/video work in Fenton gallery, Cork Eire.

      1995 Article:‘Psychology and the subject of art education’, in J. and J. Swift Disciplines, Fields and Change in Art Education, vol.3 Article Press)

      1994 Art Criticism chapter: ‘Modernism, Art Education and Sexual Difference’, in New Feminist Art Criticism. (ed.) Deepwell, K. Manchester University Press.

       1992 Art Criticism chapter ‘Housewives, Leisure Crafts and Ideology’ in Elinor, G. et al.(eds) Women and Crafts Virago

      1979/85 Journal article ‘What is Art Education For? First printed in Feminist Arts News no. 1 Spring 1979 reprinted in Pollock, G and Parker, R (eds) Framing Feminism. 1985 Pandora.

      1978/79/80 Article: ‘Feminist Art Practice and the Mass Media’  First printed in Feminist Arts News, 1978, Reprinted in Women's Studies International journal vol. 3 no. 1 1979 reprinted Pergamon Press.again as chapter in Baehr, H.(ed) Women and Media.1980

      Journal publication. Where is ‘the subject’ of contextual practice?  in The Journal of Visual Art Practice, Intellect Publishers. Vol 3 no 1 issn1470-2029 

      1999 ‘Oedipal Dramas in Art Education’ in The International Journal of Art and Design Education. 18: 3 ISSN 0260 9991

      Report on Conference of Spanish/British Women printmakers in Women's Art Library Bulletin. January/ 10

      1999 ‘Feminisms and Art Education’ in Drawing Fire v. 1;3 Jan

      ‘Cuntry Matters’ in Women's Art Journal (February) reprinted without my permission as “Rural Rumblings”

      1974 Some thoughts on Feminist art in Sjoo, Monica (ed) Towards a Revolutionary feminist Art

      relevant employments

      1993-2007  Senior Lecturer:  Psychology and Theory of Art/studio practice. BCU  Birmingham Institute of Art and Design  MA Fine Art & Course Director MA Art & Education 

      1987 -1992   Senior Lecturer: BA (Hons) Art and Social Context Dartington College of Arts, Devon, UK 'theory and printmaking'

      Also taught as VT/part time & workshops at Plymouth College of Art, Bristol University, University of California Santa Barbara, Tokarska gallery

      1970-1987   teaching art in various secondary schools; Brighton Free SchoolRoedean School, Walworth Comprehensive School;  active in the Women’s Liberation Movement writing and illustrating alternative magazines – Spare RibA Woman’s PlaceBrighton VoiceFeminist Arts News; initiating and running community print workshops: printing campaign materials and posters.  [see archive material in Women’s LibraryGoldsmiths College Library and Feminist Archive, Bristol]

      relevant papers, talks and public lectures

      2010 paper: Influence of Feminism on Art Education.  Art Education Symposium held at the Herbert Gallery, Coventry, UK

      2005 paper: ‘Leap’ at University of Berne, Switzerland conference: ‘E_motion in Motion’.

      2001 paper: ‘The Creative Construction of Identity’ at the Performing The World Conference, Montauk, New York

      2001 lecture : ‘Vision and Subjectivity’ Dept of Art & Architecture.  Parson’s School of Art.  Manhattan. New York

      2001 paper: ‘Construction of identity through art’ given at conference The Arts and Human Development, organised by the Dept of Law and Sociology, University of Central England.

      paper given: Influence of Feminism on Art Education.  Lanchester Gallery Projects (LGP) Coventry School of Art and Design, Art Education Symposium held at the Herbert Gallery, Coventry, UK

      2000 May, paper: ‘Oedipal Dramas in Art Education’ at the NSEAD ann. conference dept of Art, University of Central England, Birmingham

      1998 December, paper: ‘Feminist Aesthetics and Printmaking’ at the Conference of Spanish/British Women Printmakers, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 

      1998 September, paper: ‘Art Education and the Feminization of the Workforce’at the conference Work and the Image, Leeds University. 17-19 April.

      1997 Spring, paper: ‘Art Education and Consumer Identities’ at the Association of Art Historian's Annual Conference, The Courtauld Institute, London.

      1998 April, paper: ‘Imagery and Identity’ at the 9th International Women's Studies Network Conference, University of Glamorgan

      1998 October, paper:  XV Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, University of Rome, "La Sapienza", Italy

      [from 1993-1998 numerous lectures given at various academic venues in the uk on feminism, subjectivity and art]