Artist Profile

Jada Patterson

Studio Resident (2021-2022)

Ceramics, Sculpture
Statement of Work

The intersections of race, gender, history, and the environment are the basis of my work. I am deeply interested in Black traditions related to hair and body adornment. These traditions are often embedded into my work, as hair braiding and adornment was a passageway for stepping into my womanhood.

The ways in which I think of material, texture, color and clay body all reference the human body. Black soap, shea butter and beeswax surfaces reference the ritualistic cloaking of African- ness when I cover myself and my work in it. Porcelain’s skin is fragile and holds a reflective quality in its stark whiteness, while my black tar-like slips, glazes and other substances speak to the weight of being black that has accrued over time and generations.

Death is a recurring theme in my work as I interpret the severing of cultural traditions, self-identity in changing environments and other subjects in my work as forms of death. Whether in representations of the mortality of the body, identity, or the planet that supports us, my sculptural forms often become abstractions of the body to express ideas of death, adornment and ritual as human commonality. My use of abstraction allows for multiple points of entry, so that a viewer may be seduced by a beautiful or textured object, and thereby pulled into deeper conversations on identity, race, and gender.

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