22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Ana Penyas

Spanish illustrator Ana Penyas was born in Valencia in 1987. She has a degree in industrial design and fine arts from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. She has shown her work at solo exhibitions in places such as Lisbon and Valencia, but also at group exhibitions. She worked as an illustrator for »Pikara Magazine« and numerous print and online media outlets. Her series »Viaje al interior« [tr: Journey to the Interior] received an honorable mention at the Iberoamérica Ilustra award ceremony in 2015. A year later she won the VII. Catálogo Iberoamericano Ilustra for »Buscando un sitio« [tr: Looking For a Place]. She received the Premio Internacional de Novela Gráfica Fnac-Salamandra Graphic in 2016, which gave her the opportunity to publish her first graphic novel.

»Estamos todas bien« [2017; tr: We Are All Fine] is a tribute to post-war women from a feminist perspective. She was inspired after talking to her own grandmothers: »The women of this generation, whom we do not take care of the way they took care of us, have always been secondary roles in the lives of others: the wife of, the mother of or the grandmother of. Like Maruja and Herminia. Their anecdotes, their ideas and their world are here in this book, a small tribute that wants to make them protagonists.« In terms of design, warm tones dominate, particularly a rosy red, which the author associates with her own grandmother. Gradually, the power of this color gives way to other colors such as ocher, gray, and maroon, all of which convey warmth, everyday life, and maturity as well as wisdom and patience. For her graphic novel, which primarily visualizes personal and generational memories, Penyas became the first woman to win Spain’s most prestigious comic award, the Premio Nacional del Cómic, in 2018. In 2017, she illustrated Alberto Haller’s »En Transición«, which tells of Spain’s transition to democracy after Franco. The work addresses the social fractures, obliviousness, and dissonances by highlighting the conflicts of ordinary people in the neighborhood, which arise when memory and silence clash.

She also illustrated the children’s book »Mexique. El nombre del barco« [2017] for children aged five and older, in which María José Ferrada tells the true story of 456 unaccompanied children who were sent to Mexico via ocean liner during the Spanish Civil War. Her most recent graphic novel, »Todo bajo el sol« [2021; tr: Everything Under the Sun], explores the process of transforming the Levant coast into a place of mass tourism in the early 1960s through the story of a family that suffers from its devastating consequences. The book received the IV. Premio ACDCómic for best national work. Nowadays she is working on an exhibition »En una casa. Genealogía del trabajo del hogar y los cuidados« [tr. In a house. Genealogy of housework and care] in the Institute of Modern Art of Valencia IVAM with the social researcher Alba Herrero. The exhibition, a genealogy about the domestic workers in the area of Valencia, will take place in november 2023.

Penyas lives in Sevilla.

Date: 2022