• chierkute

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan. Visit if you are looking for...

I am still far away from understanding what it is that makes art good. Idea, topic, colours, relevance, resolution, uniqueness, developed narrative. What else? It is definitely not about shelving, but I was thinking if to separate few elements from the exhibition/artists’ practice, maybe it would help me to find what I am looking for to satisfy the inner judgmental me?

This is a new section on my blog, examining some of the exhibitions I attend. I will be giving three reasons why it was interesting, and questions or observations remained after a visit.

The current exhibition Jasmine Thomas-Girvan & Chris Ofili: Affinities at David Zwirner Gallery, London features a long-standing friendship between the two artists (they both live in Trinidad) and puts their work in conversation on myths and storytelling. However, Ofili’s reimagined Calypso and Odyssey fade, allowing mysterious tales of Thomas-Girvan speak first and more loudly. Go visit this exhibition, if you are interested in...

Myths and stories

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan draws and makes small-scale sculptures from Caribbean history, myth, ritual, providing references to literature, music and her own experience. Her works are charged with the region’s colonial past, also,universal questions on the identity.

Unusual viewpoint

Factors and conditions that a person is born with, such as ethnic heritage, qualities, gender, looks, and is perceived within social interactions play a crucial role in defining one’s identity and therefore force artists to find their particular voice and style. What I mean is, for me, coming from Northern Europe, the viewpoint of the artist born in Jamaica, and now based in Trinidad is unusual and interesting.

By the way, this is the first time as Jasmine Thomas-Girvan’s work is shown in London.


Best known as a jeweller, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan explores herself in sculpture and installation art. Neatly planned works with fine details look fragile and mysterious in proper lighting.

The Message, 2012 by Jasmine Thomas-Girvan with altered shadows.

Question1. Recent review on Guardian summarized Jasmine Thomas-Girvan’s works as sometimes being ‘just on this side of kitsch’. Too many details? Too much of everything? Is it because it openly uses Bob Marley lyrics? What could draw this exhibition closer to kitsch?

Question2. Can you enjoy art if you feel the rigorous work that was put to create it?

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© chierkute