Nari Ward: Carpet Angel
May 7 – August 15 1993
Carpet Angel was the first major museum exhibition for Jamaican-born, New York-based artist Nari Ward. Ward's multimedia installation, made from urban waste materials, consists of a carpet runner, carpet remnants, plastic bags, plastic bottles, and furniture springs. These commonplace materials, selected and reconfigured by the artist, evoked the urban environment, its inhabitants, and their histories. Ward allowed viewers to make a direct connection to the work through the use of everyday materials which carry distinct references for each viewer.
Carpet Angel employed materials with the dedicated spirit and handiwork familiar to folk art. This reapplication of discarded refuse also recalled the Jamaican tradition of creating makeshift objects from “found” materials as an alternative to unavailable basic commodities. Ward used these crude materials to paradoxically embody the presence of the spiritual. Transcending the debasement of waste materials, Ward created a space for personal reflection.