Ebony G. Patterson. … a wailing black horse … for those who bear/bare witness, 2018. Hand-cut jacquard woven photo tapestry with glitter, appliques, pins, embellishments, fabric, tassels, brooches, acrylic, glass, pearls, beads, hand-cast and hand-embellished heliconias, shelf, and hand embellished resin owl. 144 x 96 inches. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds provided by Jorge M. Pérez, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art
Ebony G. Patterson’s tapestry, … a wailing black horse … for those who bear/bare witness, features a large figure kneeling at the top of the composition. The arms of the figure are stretched back in a dramatic gesture that recalls that of surrender. The piece’s tapestry structure is layered extensively with collaged fabrics, plastic jewels, lace, glitter, and beads. The dense complexity of the surface in this piece reveals the artist’s deep painterly sensibility: she uses the diverse juxtapositions of color and texture of these found materials as a painter uses paint. Among Patterson’s chosen objects is an owl—a traditional symbol of death—covered in black glitter. The rich surface also features a toy gun, as well as two shiny rubber boots filled with seashells, which, according to certain African American religious traditions, are believed to aid spirits in death on their journey back to Africa.