The exhibition brings together approximately 100 exceptional works of art from the late 18th to 21st centuries, including Shonibare's 'Globe Child'. Five thematic sections - The Material Earth, Power of the Earth, Imagining the Underground, Strategies of the Surface, and Art as Environmental Action--provide vantage points from which to examine the most poignant relationships that African individuals and communities have with the earth as a source of power and the sacred; as a surface to be interpreted and turned to for inspiration in the representation of identity, memory, and history; and, as an environment to be protected. And, as part of this exhibition, five artists will, for the first time ever, create land art installations in the Smithsonian Gardens.
Earth Matters is part of a series of exhibitions and books, developed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, which explore African contributions to the history of knowledge. Museum partners include the US Botanic Gardens, the US Department of Agriculture, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Gardens, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Dumbarton Oaks, the University of Maryland, and the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capitol.
The exhibition runs from 22 April 2013 to 5 January 2014.