Artissima Turin - Booth Red 8 | 4 - 6 November 2022
Copperfield, London is pleased to present the solo booth of Ada M. Patterson for Artissima Turin, 2022.
An artist and writer based between Barbados and Europe, Patterson’s work visualises the rift between truth and the imaginary which manifests in the feelings of longing and searching, and results in misunderstandings and gaps of knowledge. Fantasies rise to fill those gaps, and it is this which Patterson captures, setting her works in uncanny, atemporal, universal spaces which draw in the feelings of the viewers and make these works sites of engagement and reflection.
For more information about the fair, please click here.
LOOKING FOR 'LOOKING FOR LANGSTON'
The photograph series Looking for ‘Looking for Langston’ manifests the gap of knowledge and the rise of the imagination in both what they depict, and performatively.
These three photographs depict a dream-like scene by the shoreline, a physically and symbolically liminal realm between the known and unknown, between ground and sea, a site between stability and mystery.
The very existence and concept of these photographs also self-reinforces and performs their content: Patterson is revisiting Isaac Julien’s 1989 film Looking for Langston, which explores the life of poet Langston Hughes living through the Harlem Renaissance in New York, 1920s and 1930s. Yet Patterson has never seen this film; only read about it. Her interpretation of Julien’s work is therefore lurching in the dark within the very gap between the known/unknown and the rise of the imagination which her work explores. Patterson’s work culminates as a meditation upon isolation, wonder, and the painful pleasure of desire.
KANGA FOR THE PRESENT
Patterson’s printed textiles, titled Kanga for the Present, explore that space between reality and desire, and materialise them in deeply personal works.
Begun during Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the kanga was a practice received from Patterson’s mother, and the artist applies contemporary inspiration onto this East African ancestral garment tradition - one which Patterson, like her mother, wore as a child. Each kanga has a name, one which prays, prophesies, hopes, wishes, blesses, laughs, mocks, criticises, warns, teaches, imagines, protects, curses. These works are gifted to a person for whom its name is meaningful for them to wear and feel protected, loved. Made during a time of natural and social disaster, these kanga provided Patterson with a means of finding what little words she could muster for what was happening across the Caribbean - indeed, for what is still happening, what will continue to happen - in our world struck by crisis.
This crisis is not just the climate crisis, but the socio-political crisis surrounding the slow acceptance of queerness and myriad identities. Kanga for the Present becomes a visual and performative intersection between image-making, textiles, clothing, poetry and communication, to make room to support the voices of those who struggle to speak in times that are difficult to speak to. Kanga for the Present treats our thoughts, words and experiences as gifts we give to the world out of love, whether our love is soft, tough or just complicated.
the first symptom is refusal
the first symptom is refusal is one of Patterson’s latest works which demonstrates their continued development of the themes of dislocation, longing, desire, reality, nature, and society.
A sparkly fabric sculpture, the first symptom is refusal depicts a starfish with a severed leg hanging from a fish hook. A usual occurrence in nature, the severed leg is connected to the sea star’s body by a long, beaded strand of sinew. Most starfish can regenerate damaged or lost parts of themselves. They can also shed arms as a defence mechanism.
However, several sea stars have been dying out from accumulating effects of climate crisis (including a ripening of conditions for sea star wasting disease) that make regeneration impossible. Attempting to survive, they sever their limbs hoping to regenerate, but it doesn’t work.
This work is not only a commentary upon the climate change, but also a metaphorical exploration of, and warning about, the social crisis occurring in our human world: the attempted survival tactics of other afflicted bodies - communities - of this world.
ADA M. PATTERSON
Ada M. Patterson (b. 1994, Bridgetown) is an artist and writer based between Barbados, London and Rotterdam. She works with masquerade, performance, poetry, textiles and video, looking at the ways storytelling can limit, enable and complicate identity formation. Her recent work considers grief, elegy writing and archiving as tools for disrupting the disappearance of communities queered by different experiences of crisis.
For more information about the artist please click here.
Copperfield at Artissima, Turin 2022 with the support of Mondriaan Fonds.