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Penelope Cato

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Penelope is a Melbourne-based artist with an abiding interest in nature, particularly plant life, and a love for patterning and Japanese design. She often combines traditional art techniques with digital technologies to create works with high aesthetic appeal and subtle layers of meaning.

Born into a family of artists, Penelope grew up with a strong awareness of all things visual and this continued throughout her schooling and tertiary studies. She studied graphic design at Monash University and took up roles in visual merchandising with David Jones. While working, Penelope’s growing range of interests led her to complete a degree in textile design at RMIT University.

As she began building her own design practice, Penelope lectured in interior design at Holmesglen Institute, with particular focus on colour for interior spaces, soft furnishings, materials selection, sustainability, and global trend forecasting. Her responsibilities included the development, delivery and assessment of certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma courses. She has continued imparting her design knowledge and skills, most recently directing and engaging primary school students in multimedia art projects.

As well as designing her artworks, Penelope’s entrepreneurial spirit has led her to create designs for various products, including printed and embroidered T-shirts and her own range of quality cotton bed linen for young children. The items featured appealing contemporary graphics expressing the shapes and colours of the world we live in.

Penelope’s art explores the shapes within floral forms, utilising colour and texture to differentiate tonal values and add intricate detail. Further abstraction through digital effects and manipulation of the forms invest each piece with additional layers of meaning.