Meaghan Carpenter is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice combines aspects of sculptural installation, performance, collage and drawing to create works that comment on our culture of desire, excess and emotional vacancy. Carpenter draws from personally gathered and accumulated collections specific to our economy of want, such as, non-winning lottery tickets, credit card offers, discarded liquor bottles and consumer product waste. Working from these collections she arranges and rearranges, layers and stacks until the pieces transform into their own being(s) complete with a lexicon of signs and symbols derived directly from the found objects. The resulting pieces hint at ritual, are mysteriously familiar but a tad offbeat, and explore notions of the environment, pollution, complacency, gluttony, human connection and loss. By carefully placing and displaying the work she invites the viewers to become seduced in the act of looking and asks the viewer to reexamine their relationship to the immediate world around them and the resonating impact of the choices they make in their daily lives.
In Carpenter’s public performance, TRUST (2008-ongoing), she has created a safe environment within the public context of a gallery setting that allows the artist and one participant a unique experience. By providing a free manicure in exchange for conversation, she breaks down the barrier of personal space and comfort by becoming quickly intimate (holding hands) and emotionally (shared thoughts) invested with a stranger. Asking the question, “What does it mean to Trust?” and affirming the desire we all share for human connection among a society dominated by social media.