SYL ARENA (Morro Bay, CA)

Image @ Syl Arena. "Twal". Constructed Void series. 18” x 24” chromogenic print. 2016. 

I gaze upon these photographs and wonder if their metaphor represents spaces inside of me or if the metaphor points to my presence inside of a larger multiverse.
— Syl Arena

"I will expand the dialogue initiated in my "Constructed Void" series by continuing the series as full-color carbon prints. While my current
"Constructed Voids" are shot with a 4x5 camera, the series is digital from capture through presentation. As photographic objects, their ultra-glossy surfaces present a contemporary window to what otherwise are timeless considerations. I believe that the evidence of facture through the carbon print’s layering of pigments onto beautiful, deckled paper will provide an aesthetic experience that transcends the work in its current chromogenic form."  (Syl Arena)

SYL ARENA is a California-based artist known for his explorations of non-representational photography. He freely admits that he is addicted to color and shadow.

In his current work, Syl positions his ‘Constructed Voids’ as ethereal landscapes—sublime, yet otherworldly—and embraces the idea that they provide space for transformative contemplation. Their titles are fabricated words intended to strip away narrative connotations and thereby encourage direct engagement with each image. 

Syl is also greatly interested in commenting on the loss of the photograph's position as image-object in our screen-based world. Increasingly he exhibits his photographs as objects rather than merely as images by hanging the prints so that they bend outward from the walls of the gallery.

Last summer, curator Charlotte Cotton selected his "Color Ribbons 9775" for exhibition in the "Aperture Foundation Summer Open: Photography Is Magic." 

Syl recently earned an MFA from Lesley University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and has a BFA from the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona).


SUNÉ WOODS (Los Angeles, CA)

Image © Suné Woods. "Mano a Mano", 5” x 9” photo collage, 2015.

For me, the power of eros holds a source of knowledge and intelligence which I see as a way to re‐imagine belief systems and has emancipatory potential for those who access it.
— Suné Woods

"Residencies have been pivotal to my art practice, as they have provided the support to completely immerse myself in my research and work. They have also afforded me the intellectual and creative space in expanded time that I often do not have in my everyday life as a parent. I would like to continue to make meaningful work addressing contemporary issues that are important to me. The Penumbra Workspace Program would enable me to move forward with my work and would facilitate experimentation, research, and invaluable time devoted to my practice."  (Suné Woods)

SUNÉ WOODS is an artist living in Los Angeles. Her work takes the form of multi-channel video installations, photographs, and collage. Woods practice examines absences and vulnerabilities within cultural and social histories. She also uses microsomal sites such as family to understand larger sociological phenomenon, imperialist mechanisms, and formations of knowledge. She is interested in how language is emoted, guarded, and translated through the absence/presence of a physical body.

She has participated in residencies at Headlands Center of the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Light Work. Woods is a recipient of the Visions from the New California initiative, The John Gutmann Fellowship Award, and The Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer.

Woods has served as Visiting Faculty in the CalArts Photography & Media Program, Vermont College of Fine Arts Visual Art Program, and has mentored fellows and organized lectures with at land’s edge, an experimental platform for visual research and catalyst for decolonial thought and action in Los Angeles.

Woods earned an MFA from California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA) and a BFA from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, (Miami, FL).



This program is made possible by the generous support of ROZ LEIBOWITZ



Thanks to the following artists for their support to Penumbra Foundation and in particular to the Penumbra Workspace Program:

David Hilliard, Rachel Perry, Tanya Marcuse, Andrew Moore, Paula McCartney, Dillon DeWaters, Jon Goodman, Lothar Osterburg, Unai San Martin, Carl Weese, Lisa Elmaleh, Victor Sira, Sarah Palmer, Yamini Nayar, Marina Berio, Bryan Whitney, John Dugdale, Joni Sternbach, John Cyr, Beth Ganz, Jeff Liao, Binh Dahn and Brenton Hamilton.