Great Malvern, Worcs
Benedict (Ben) Carpenter (born 1975) is a British sculptor and artist from the West Midlands. He works in traditional materials such as bronze, mild steel, as well as more modern substances such as polyurethane foam, bread, rubber and spray paint.
In 2001, Benedict was awarded the Jerwood Sculpture prize for his sculpture "Universal Object"; in 2005 his work was exhibited as part of Swansong, an installation curated by the Centre of Attention, and shown at the Venice Biennale; and in the same year, "40,000 Years of Modern Art", a public sculpture, was unveiled at Manhattan Gate in Middlesbrough, UK. The maquette for this work is shown to the right.
In 2006, he was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Art and Design at the University of East London; and since January 2008, he has been a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art (Sculpture) at the University of Wolverhampton.
His sculptural work is typified by a variety of blobby abstraction that teeters on the brink of figuration. As his entry in the Jerwood Sculpture Park catalogue has it:
... Carpenter would never want his sculpture to be pinned down to one meaning. His proposal for the grounds of Witley Court follow on from work that he displayed at the Jerwood Space two years ago. Based on Rorschach tests, the celebrated ink-blots that triggered a naming process in psychological experiments, they made Carpenter view his work for Witley Court as a "blank canvas, on which viewers can project their own interpretations", the purpose of this being to stimulate a "fertile uncertainty in the onlooker's mind", that will not allow the sculpture "to settle into a stable identity".
More recently, he has been working with open forms constructed in mild steel, the first of which was made in 2009 and is sited in Candas in Asturias, Spain. Another was commissioned by the Jerwood Foundation, and is currently on loan to Oakham School, Rutland. Both of these forms, titled 'Net Form' and 'Pod' respectively, carry biomorphic resonances.
- Richard Cork from 'The Jerwood Sculpture Park Catalogue'; exhibition catalogue, published by the Jerwood Foundation in 2001