Meridians - Art Basel Miami Beach 2023: Ebony G. Patterson

6 - 10 December 2023 
Meridians M12

moniquemeloche will present a monumental 5-part paper collage work by the artist Ebony G. Patterson. …and the dew cracks the earth, in five acts of lamentation…between the cuts…beneath the leaves…below the soil…. represents Patterson’s exploration of the garden as a postcolonial symbol of a past that is never fully buried and barely visible. This work first debuted in Patterson’s major solo show ...when the cuts erupt...the garden rings...and the warning is a wailing..., at CAM St. Louis, MO in 2020, specially designed for their 60-foot project wall. The exhibition later traveled to ICA San Jose and most recently, the 5-part work was presented at ICA Boston Watershed for the exhibition Revival: Materials and Monumental Forms, in May 2022.


Patterson's immersive gardens grow out of a complex entanglement of race, gender, class, and violence. The coexistence of beauty and horror in Patterson’s environments parallel the abundant plant-life she conjures through an excess of embellished materials. To construct the work, Patterson begins with an elaborate photoshoot in her Jamaica studio. Once the images are printed, she shreds and tears the paper by hand, damaging the material in the process of making new forms, parallel to the act of gardening when living things are pulled and pruned. Amongst various collaged elements, branching vines, feathered butterflies, and paper flowers–some of which represent poisonous specimens–stand out against a white background. More ‘living wall’ than painting, each panel consists of lush overgrowth that envelops a human presence which slowly becomes apparent. The faces, arms, legs, and headless torsos of Black women in lament poke out from beneath the layers of foliage, turning the garden, an emblem of beauty and fecundity, into a potent lure designed to seduce and clobber unwitting viewers. This monumental display of women publicly mourning will be the thematic focus of Patterson’s upcoming solo exhibition at Arnolfini in Bristol, UK, summer/fall 2024.