He graduated in 1984 the last year of The Ulster Polytechnic, then went on to study at Slade School of Fine Art in the early 90s with the late Professor Bartolomeu Dos Santos. Penney exhibits both nationally and internationally he has represented the United Kingdom at the prestigious Ljubljana Print Biennale and "Britain Meets the Bay" at The Centre for the Arts in San Francisco. He has also represented Ireland at the Temple Bar International Print Exhibition in Dublin. Penney has won first prize at the German International Biennale for Graphic Art and the Selection Prize at the South Korean Print Biennale in Seoul. He has been awarded several grants by The British Council and Arts Councils for Northern Ireland and Great Britain. More recently he has been selected for the 2009 Northern Print Biennale in Newcastle upon Tyne.