Artist Ebony G. Patterson’s Lush and Provocative Garden Installation


[Many thanks to Veerle Poupeye for bringing this item to our attention.] In “Artist Ebony G. Patterson’s Lush and Provocative Garden Installation in North Carolina Is a Delight for the Eyes—See It Here,” Caroline Goldstein (ArtNet News) writes, “While museums are closed to the public, we are spotlighting an inspiring exhibition somewhere around the globe each day.” Here, she features “Ebony G. Patterson: … while the dew is still on the roses… ,” on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina.

What the museum says: Jamaican-born artist Ebony G. Patterson’s “neo-baroque” works “address violence, masculinity, ‘bling,’ visibility, and invisibility within the post-colonial context of her native Kingston and within black youth culture globally. This exhibition focuses on the role that gardens have played in her practice, referenced as spaces of both beauty and burial, environments filled with fleeting aesthetics and mourning.”

Why it’s worth a look: A lush floral landscape takes over the galleries, with tendrils and vines, papered over in deep purple wallpaper, snaking across the walls. In the center of the gallery, huge red and orange blossoms hold court, surrounded by Patterson’s textile and mixed-media assemblages.

Patterson doesn’t skimp on glitz and sparkles, which are used to transcend gender boundaries. A pair of heels with intricately carved wooden platforms lay on a bed of colorfully beaded petals. And nearby, a pair of metallic blue lace-up combat boots are festooned with epaulette tassels.

The artist has spoken about using color and pattern as a way to assert dignity—especially through dress and in performance. In a video titled … three kings weep… , three black men sit ramrod straight against a Fragonard-esque backdrop of butterflies and climbing roses. The men are clad in mixed patterns of African wax prints and other vibrant textures. In the video, they slowly undress themselves, peeling off layers as tears stream down their faces. [. . .]


[See the original article at to see the “What it looks like” photo selection.]


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