For millennia, Middle Eastern carpets have been used as a locus for and aid to prayer and meditation, as transports to altered states. With repeating emblems, symbols and patterns, they are places where prayers and desires are voiced.
Western cultures often consider these carpets variously as Turkish, Persian, ‘Oriental’ and even as magic or flying carpets that can serve as transports to altered states and may contribute to mood-altering experiences.
In my carpets, sugar candies provide an enticing focus for both our desires and also a means of altering our mood. Integrated into the candy patterns are the reassuring words “sugar-free” and “fat-free” which have become some of our contemporary culture’s most powerful mantras. Undercutting the seductiveness of the sweets is the substance sugar, with its delectability that ensnares and then destroys its users. Sugar is the cause of both physical and emotional addictions and of historical atrocities, primarily the slave trade. The orange circus peanuts, red and black licorice twists, red hots, lemon drops, gumdrops, orange slices, marshmallows, Sweet Tarts, Swedish fish, Skittles and assorted shapes of milk, dark and white chocolate candies arranged into these life-size carpets serve literally as visual eye candy, a sweetly scented reminder of our physicality, vulnerability, shame-filled history and as a problematic entry into the realm of transcendence/positive feelings.