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J Carpenter
Jersey City, NJ



ARTIST STATEMENT: I employ traditional lace making techniques to render protective structures laced from thread, rope, and steel cable; doors, windows, entranceways, roads, and sidewalks embroidered in thread; and embossings from threaded objects. I am interested in how the grueling process of lace making and needlework relates to their purely decorative finished products and how this relationship is in turn emblematic of much familial, social, and cultural effort. Just as lace garments neither shield nor warm their wearers, our domestic and cultural institutions often fall short in their promises of sanctuary, safety, and social justice. And yet, just as with lace making, the impulse to always do more persists, an impulse rooted in and nourished by hope. The images that I portray reconstruct the paradox implicit in this hopeā€”the seeming quixotic absurdity of the exhaustive effort it requires contrasted with its intrinsic personal, professional, and aesthetic rewards. Though a house arduously constructed of lace cannot provide physical sanctuary with its permeable thresholds drawing into confusion the very notion of interiority vs. exteriority itself and of who is being protected from what, these structures, distilled from their promises, endure as delicate palimpsests of the labor and aspirations from which they were constructed.
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J Carpenter Art
 

  • Live Wires
    2010
    Nylon Rope   12' x 10' x 10'
    Live Wires is a house comprised of 6,000 feet of fluorescent orange nylon construction rope. The ropes are assembled using traditional lace making techniques that have been in use since the mid 1600s.

  • The Exquisite Frost
    2009
    Handmade Lace   36" x 40" x 36"
    The Exquisite Frost is comprised of handmade lace and a steel armature. It inhabits viewing space as an umbrella would in life. Rather than offering shade, it produces complex arrays of light and shad

  • Rugged
    2012
    Acrylic Paint, Contact Paper   12' x 3'
    Rugged is a site specific installation that superimposes an image of an interior floor onto a highly trafficked public street. Viewers are invited to walk on the piece.

  • Rugged
    2012
    Acrylic Paint, Contact Paper   12' x 3'
    Rugged is a site specific installation that superimposes an image of an interior floor onto a highly trafficked public street. Viewers are invited to walk on the piece.

  • House in Black Lace
    2010
    Handmade Lace   10" x 8" x 6"
    House in Black Lace is comprised of handmade lace, suspended from the ceiling, emphasizing its weightlessness.

  • untitled
    2013
    Embroidery on Paper   12" x 16"

  • untitled
    2011
    Embroidery on Paper   8" x 6"

  • And never stops at all, series
    2010
    collograph with acrylic additions   14" x 14", 16" x 22", 14" x 14"

  • Citrinitas
    2012
    Handmade Lace   varied
    Citrinitas is comprised of handmade lace resting on a pedestal. The absence of an armature allows the textile to warp, taking on the shape of the surface on which it is displayed.

  • untitled
    2013
    Embroidery on Paper   18" x 12"

  • Greenwich, 7:16
    2011
    Embroidery on Canvas   8" x 10"

  • I would rest
    2011
    Embroidery on Paper   8" x 10"

  • igetmyfeetwet
    2013
    embossing with ink additions   12" x 18"

  • untitled
    2013
    Embroidery on Paper   10" x 8"

  • untitled
    2013
    Embroidery on Paper   11" x 14"

  • untitled
    2013
    Embroidery on Paper   11" x 14"

  • She Slept
    2007
    Embroidery on Canvas   18" x 5" x 1"
    She Slept involves six canvases, on each of which the phrase I WENT TO THANK HER, BUT SHE SLEPT has been embroidered. The first canvas includes countless repetitions of the text, rendering it illegib

  • Fairmount, 8:01
    2011
    Embroidery on Paper   8" x 10"

  • Rosette
    2010
    Handmade Lace   6" x 4" x 4"
    Rosette is comprised of handmade lace resting on a pedestal. The sagging and warping of the fabric may be viewed as both melancholy and humorous. Using minimal information to depict the house serves

  • bluebell
    2012
    embossing   12" x 16"
 








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