I started making photographs in the 1960s photographing Bay Area Dance (S.F. Ballet and Margaret Jenkins). In the 70s and 80s, I began to use the larger format cameras to do studio work, exploring different processes including negative solarization, chemical "painting", hand coloring, and cyanotype. In 2009, I started using a digital camera.
Solo and group shows include SFMOMA and Nicholas Roerich Museum in NYC. I have work in the permanent collections of The Peter Palmquist Women in Photography Archive at The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Yale University) and The Bibiothèque Nationale, Paris. In 2016, I completed In Trinity's Shadow about living with the after effects of the 1945 Trinity A-bomb test exploded in New Mexico. It is a folded book 13"W x 19" H with 15 archival pigment prints in a limited edition of 15. In 2017, I attended the Scuola di Grafica in Venice, Italy and that is leading me to explore the centuries of war that occurred there as Venice developed her position of maritime power and wealth in the world. I live and work in Berkeley.
In Love With the Dark, photographs and writings by Penny Lee Brogden
In 2005, I received a grant from the Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research for the development of an artist’s book "In Love With the Dark."
The book consists of four booklets: Prologue, Portfolio, Interview, and Epilogue. The Prologue is a description of how the book came about, and an introduction to the portfolio of photographs. The Portfolio consists of 20 full-color reproductions of original photographs . This series portrays an imagined nuclear meltdown in France,1985, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II. The silver gelatin prints were chemically altered in the darkroom, with oil and pastel added. Booklet three has a 37-page interview between the artist and her friend, the writer and painter, Richard Ganci, and is illustrated with 12 photographs. The Epilogue is a memorial tribute to Ganci, illustrated with 17 digital photographs taken in 2009, in North Beach, San Francisco, the neighborhood in which he lived.
I printed the 9" by 13" book in 2011 on vellum inkjet paper with under lays of hand-made paper from the Yucatan. Five copies were made of the 80-page, hand bound book. One copy is held in the Peter Palmquist Women in Photography Archive at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.