Known for her drawings, tapestries, videos, sculptures and installations that involve surfaces layered with flowers, glitter, lace and bead, Ebony G. Patterson’s works investigate forms of embellishment as they relate to youth culture within disenfranchised communities. That work is the focus of the newest exhibition at Rowan University Art Gallery, Ebony G. Patterson: If We Must Die. The exhibit is on display from February 11 – April 20, 2019.
In conjunction with the exhibit, a conversation with the artist will be held on Wednesday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m. in the gallery, led by visiting scholar Colette Gaiter, a professor in the Department of Art & Design and Department of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware. A reception will follow.
The two featured installations – Invisible Presence: Bling Memories and Of 72 – employ opulent, hand-embellished surfaces and brightly colored patterns that entice viewers to bear witness to the violence and social injustices imposed on the invisible and the voiceless. Patterson’s neo-Baroque works address masculinity, “bling,” visibility, and invisibility within the post-colonial context of her native Jamaica and within black youth culture globally. The references to Carnival in Patterson’s use of beads, plastic ornaments, and reflective materials echo her interest in mining international aesthetics in her practice.