I went to see Claire Carpenters 3rd Solo show at the Cross Gallery last night, the work was beautiful...i'm a fan, it is on till the 27th of October.
There is a shifting blend of fantasy and recollection in Claire Carpenters predominately small scale tempera on gesso paintings. Using passages of loose rhythmical brushwork Carpenter conjures up a dream-like and intimate atmosphere and then weaves it together with intricate narrative details. This complex relationship between the remembered and real, abstracted and representational creates an uneasy balance and tension within the frame, as if each brush stroke hides a dark secret.
Meticulously rendered depictions of animals, human figures, shells and landscape details seem to loosely refer to the artists own memories and ask questions about how we see, how we know and how we remember. However this hidden personal narrative, is full of contradictions and is open to interpretation as we are never given enough information to be conclusive about what she is trying to say, forcing us to surrender and open up to what is before us.