The gallery is open Saturdays + Sundays 12 - 6 PM and by appointment.

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Essex Flowers front entrance and front gallery are wheelchair accessible. Our back gallery is accessible, with a clearance of 31”. Our bathroom is not wheelchair accessible.


The Earth Wants You Back
April 19 - May 19, 2024
Opening reception: April 20, 6-8pm

Follow the gentle touch of life
Soft as the footprint of an ant
As tiny sensations open to vastness.

-The Radiance Sutras

What shall I learn of beans and beans of me? -Henry David Thoreau

A gardener stoops low to spread seeds, to weed and nourish his garden. The gardener’s exhalation is an airy veil, his fingers bestow soft impressions in the soil as he sows. In this intimate communion, a kaleidoscope of life reveals itself: the sinuous movement of centipedes behind rocks, the industrious march of ants along well-worn paths. The beans and weeds, with their deliberate pace, embark on their botanical odyssey, unfurling roots and stretching skyward in a perky embrace of sunlight. Through the act of cultivation, a symbiotic relationship emerges; as the gardener learns to care for the plant through nurturing gestures and provision of essential sustenance, the plant reciprocally "learns of me," hinting at a nuanced sentience or visceral bond experienced beyond verbal discourse. Here, the corporeal processes of both human and flora, interwoven with the microscopic realm of soil microorganisms, converge harmoniously toward equilibrium and homeostasis.

These paintings are haptic occurrences, made by a painter (gardener) and materials (Thoreau’s beans). Each work in this series is a marker of a moment where inner and outer worlds collided, expressed through texture, shape, pattern, and color. Fabricated from pieced cotton, linen, and wool, dyed and layered with acrylic and oil paint, these paintings begin with intricate lattice and pineapple motifs, derived from the study of quilt-making. The process of assembling fabrics into a cohesive surface forms the foundation of the painting. Color and brushstrokes articulate progress, while the interplay between image (painting as window) and surface (painting as object) is accentuated through contrasting colors and diverse forms of mark-making. Viewed collectively, the series manifests as a garden, but each work grows autonomously, reflecting the cyclic interdependence between gardener and plant– process and inspiration become intertwined. 

Connection emerges as the theme of this exhibition— to earth and sky, to children and ancestors, and to the portals that usher us into communion– the dirt on your hands, as well as the water that washes it off. “The Earth wants you back” is both a call to connection and a reminder, like ashes to ashes, that we all eventually return to where we came from. The name of the show appeared first on a painting by Sarah Bisceglie, a friend of mine, who passed away in 2023. A retrospective of her work will be open in May 2024 at Stable Gallery, in Woodstock, NY. These paintings are a love note to friends, ancestors, children, nature, and the formless.

-  Linnea Vedder

Linnea Vedder is a New York based artist, born in Madison, Wisconsin. Her work has been shown at Lubov, Jack Hanley, The Kitchen, Essex Flowers, Exit Art, The Boom Boom Room, Spare Room Projects, Live with Animals, among others.

Installation photography by Garrett Carroll