Scott Pennington is a Baltimore-based artist specializing in large-scale participatory installation and sculptural assemblage works. Drawing upon his background as a furniture and cabinet-maker, Pennington utilizes woodworking and construction techniques to create colorful, detailed works of art that engage varied audiences and invigorate public spaces. Pennington’s work suggests a tangible, yet illusory reality that examines labor, consumer culture, and the pursuit of simple pleasures, and the construction of nostalgic human connections both genuine and fictitious.
We live in a world of time clocks, traffic jams, subversive commercialism, and overbearing religious and political ideals. I see much of modern life as a struggle to find and maintain some level of fulfillment and happiness, while fending off the continuous voices that tell us what we should think and how we should live. We are taught to fear everything and fall in line. Some people enable themselves to rise above, but others simply hope for a momentary distraction from the oppressive forces of our society.
As a sculptor and installation artist I focus heavily on social interaction, engaging the public through immersive participatory work. I am drawn to the evocative nature of public spaces that create opportunities for interaction between the viewer and the environment, as well as between the viewers themselves. This experience is commonly found in situations such as traveling carnivals, amusement parks, and playgrounds. These highly engineered and manicured diversions are designed to provide patrons with measured, but chaotic experiences while stimulating senses and emotions, delivering a respite from daily life.
Drawing upon my background as a furniture and cabinet maker, I construct large objects and structures reminiscent of road side signage, the Vegas Strip and the aesthetic of the traveling carnival. Imbedded with a variety of programmed, electronic lighting and kinetic components, these forms work together to create immersive environments that engage varied audiences and invigorate public spaces. Emulating the hypnotic patterns and rhythms of the carnival aesthetic, I distill the visual and psychological effects of this temporary wonderland down to a concentrated and refined dose of electric joy.