'Upon This Ground': Ma's House, Bridgehampton Museum Launch New Artist Series - 27 East

'Upon This Ground': Ma's House, Bridgehampton Museum Launch New Artist Series

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Komikka Patton at work on

Komikka Patton at work on "Conversation With Self," commissioned by the World Trade Center. JOE WOOLHEAD

Komikka Patton at work on

Komikka Patton at work on "Conversation With Self," commissioned by the World Trade Center. JOE WOOLHEAD

Komikka Patton at work on

Komikka Patton at work on "Conversation With Self," commissioned by the World Trade Center. JOE WOOLHEAD

Komikka Patton at work on

Komikka Patton at work on "Conversation With Self," commissioned by the World Trade Center. JOE WOOLHEAD

Komikka Patton at work on

Komikka Patton at work on "Conversation With Self," commissioned by the World Trade Center. JOE WOOLHEAD

"Untitled (grapes of Halhul)" by Noel Maghathe.

"Untitled (fence)" by Noel Maghathe.

"Untitled (fence)" performance by Noel Maghathe.

"Untitled (weaving)" by Noel Maghathe.

Noel Maghathe, an upcoming artist in residence at Ma's House who will teach the second workshop in

Noel Maghathe, an upcoming artist in residence at Ma's House who will teach the second workshop in "Upon This Ground."

"Broken Made Whole," 2022, fabric, cotton batting, thread, resin, and wood, by Tammie Dupuis.

"Boundaries," 2021, paper, canvas, vinyl, wood, and steel, by Tammie Dupuis.

Tammie Dupuis, an upcoming artist in residence at Ma's House who will teach the third workshop in

Tammie Dupuis, an upcoming artist in residence at Ma's House who will teach the third workshop in "Upon This Ground."

"This Is How I Got Here," 2022, resin, hair, thread, and wood, by Tammie DuPuis.

"Counting Coup on Curtis #2," 2021, glass beads, shell, canvas, interfacing, thread, and wood, by Tammie Dupuis.

Nina Rayburn Dec, executive director of The Bridgehampton Museum with Jeremy Dennis, a fine-art photographer and Shinnecock Nation tribe member who founded Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio at the Nathaniel Rogers House in Bridgehampton.   DANA SHAW

Nina Rayburn Dec, executive director of The Bridgehampton Museum with Jeremy Dennis, a fine-art photographer and Shinnecock Nation tribe member who founded Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio at the Nathaniel Rogers House in Bridgehampton. DANA SHAW

authorMichelle Trauring on Mar 29, 2023

On Monday afternoon, Komikka Patton was waiting for her plane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport — boarding announcements and last calls sounding in the background — as she contemplated her return to New York City from her childhood home in North Carolina.

“I’m excited,” she said. “I guess this is a trial run to see if I’ll be staying for good, or if I am picking up my things — I have all of my things in storage right now —and moving elsewhere.”

About a year and a half had passed since she left New York, she explained. And within that time, she had embraced a nomadic exploration through West Africa, Puerto Rico and places in between, as well as through her own artistry — playing with scale, texture, layers and dissecting the human figure in ways she hasn’t before.

For Patton, it is simply another chapter in what she calls her “process of becoming,” which she has aptly titled the workshop that she will teach on Monday, April 3, while in residency at Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio in Southampton, in partnership with The Bridgehampton Museum.

“Becoming is everything,” she said. “We’re constantly in an act of becoming, whether we want to willingly or not.”

Patton’s workshop — which will explore themes of self-reflection, self-realization and self-discovery through creating biographical collages pressed between glass — kicks off “Upon This Ground,” a series of programs hosted by the two organizations at the Nathaniel Rogers House in Bridgehampton.

It aims to create an inclusive, collaborative environment that encourages a greater understanding of individual and collective history, explained Nina Rayburn Dec, executive director of The Bridgehampton Museum.

“We wanted it to be something that talked about what happens here — in the past and in this moment — because history is not so much about people that are no longer with us,” she said. “History is a continuum. It’s a living, breathing thing. And what has happened on this ground in the past has led us to this moment here and this beautiful collaboration.”

On June 11, the next workshop, “Reclaiming Landscapes,” will be hosted by Noel Maghathe, a queer, mixed Palestinian-American performance artist and curator whose practice centers on their Palestinian heritage. Through their work, they seek to “educate audiences about the pain of occupation and their yearning for their country while also delving into the deeper dimensions of personal identity beyond surface-level labels,” according to their bio.

“Noel is actually incorporating a medium of beeswax, which they use a lot in their work,” explained Jeremy Dennis, a fine-art photographer and Shinnecock Nation tribe member who founded Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio. “So I think that alone is very exciting and a medium that a lot of people have never had their hands on.”

Later this year, on September 17, Indigenous artist Tammie Dupuis will present a program on honoring tradition that will include an overview of her portfolio followed by basket-weaving, which falls under the scope of what is typically done at Ma’s House, Dennis said.

“Even before COVID-19, Suffolk County was one of the most segregated places economically and racially,” he said. “So these workshops that we’re hosting at Bridgehampton Museum will be an opportunity for people to come together who have historically never maybe had a reason, maybe never knew that they could, or maybe there was just no other way to conduct such a meeting.

“And so, I think it’s really wonderful and refreshing that we’re able to platform artists of color, to present and listen to their stories, and have that cross-cultural appreciation.”

Both organizers said they hope to grow the program and may even add more artists to this year’s line-up.

“The idea is to expand the language of discussion of self,” Rayburn Dec said. “There are many ways to talk about ourselves — we can write about it, we can have a conversation on the phone, but we can also put together other types of materials that are traditionally used for other purposes to also tell a very meaningful story about who we are and how we live in this moment, and our perception of self and others.”

It was during a recent residency in Puerto Rico that Patton’s own perception of collage shifted. Growing up in Charlotte, she was a gifted drawer — or “draftsman,” as she says — and was accepted into Northwest School of the Arts, a magnet school, at age 11.

There, she was told she was an artist.

She would go on to earn her BFA in fine arts from Columbus College of Art & Design and an MFA from New York University, and she found her artistic voice — one that is ever evolving — through ink, paper and various printmaking techniques to create large paper installations centrally based on the African Diasporan human condition.

Her collages touch futurism, transhumanism, mythology and storytelling. They investigate stories. They disassemble and reassemble time, matter, space and perspective, coupling fragments of thoughts, memories, and associations with folklore, mysticism, and the metaphysical.

And at the height of her career in New York City — having been featured in the World Trade Center — she decided she needed a break.

“Part of the reason why I left New York City in the first place was because I felt like I had to create a little too quickly, a little too fast,” she said. “I wanted to be available for every opportunity that came my way because it’s like the New York hustle: Never say no.”

Patton’s time away has given her the breath and space to sit with a body of work for more than three months, she said, to travel and meet other artists and evolve. And while she was in residency in Puerto Rico, and asked to gift a piece of work, she looked over her limited supplies, gathered scraps of drawings and made a collage, which was put in a glass frame and hung in the bathroom.

“It was really beautiful, it was really pretty. That sparked this idea of doing these glass frames of collage, of found object pieces,” she said, adding, “I realized that I was creating this body of work that was very free, that could be preliminaries for larger works, but also wasn’t confined or constrained to an artist statement or wasn’t confined to a sketchbook even, but it was able to exist freely and able to be displayed.”

The artist will introduce this process to her workshop attendees next week, she said, encouraging them to collage a day or a week of collected items and drawings — representing a moment in time — into a piece that can be made precious, she said.

As for herself, in residency, she will devote her artistic practice to the discovery of new ideas and a new body of collage, housed by a triptych of 10-inch-by-10-inch wooden panels.

“I’m so grateful to be an artist inspired by discovery, inspired by adventure, inspired by travel and materialism and the ins and outs of what this world offers, what my experience offers, what other people’s experiences offer,” she said. “All of that discovery is the overarching theme, but it’s constantly changing because I’m constantly changing, and my views of the world are constantly changing, as well as the knowing of self is constantly changing and gaining in depth.”

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