One pervasive symptom of contemporary art criticism is that ‘you don’t need to stare at the paintings…’. The prevailing voices have talked themselves out of taking time with art. It gets in the way. Art has become just a placeholder for theory, for words, ‘after the end of art’. On the other hand, paintings that resonate deep within our souls have a power that’s stronger than rhetoric. Despite the direction of contemporary criticism, paintings are still being made to express the ineffable aspects of life that have been spurned by our sound-bite culture. It’s art that’s made to be stared at, to be devoured, to dive into, and lose your self in.

Jeff Carpenter uses memories and a combination of moments within memories to make paintings that induce a momentary wobble of perception. If you daydream a memory of a wonderful day it’s rarely just one “snapshot” that you summon, it’s many images - the full panorama, the light in her eyes, the wind in the leaves - all layered one on top of each other. The real pleasure in conjuring up the memory is not in any one part as it is in slipping through the images. Carpenter pursues that subconscious effect; combining images in a way that tricks the mind to flicking from one image to the next, back and forth, a mental flickering that is slightly beyond our control. It's art that induces a momentary wobble of perception – it triggers the subconscious, making us the projector in a cerebral movie, capturing those ineffable moments of our lives that defy words, that can only be achieved visually.