|Detail from Jasmine Thomas-Girvan's It's Definitely Not a Rose Garden, the Red is the Preferred Scent|
Jasmine Thomas-Girvan’s latest show, Dreaming Backwards, makes us time travel. The show is an incantation. Walls of the gallery space are plastered with poems. The room is full, too full. There is little space to be vacant. This is both a curse and a blessing. There is something frenetic in the assault on the senses, the layers of surrealism, the poetry of the elegant forms. The exhibition’s subtitle, The Magic of Breaking the Spell, is appropriate.
What happens to time in dreams? Does it exist within that space? What does it mean to dream backwards? Is it like a film being played in reverse? And if so, is dreaming backwards not a form of moving forward?
The solidity of these objects belie the portals they open to history. Amid these dazzling objects, there are problems and questions. Writer Sharon Millar points to “the human cost beneath the belly of beauty, below the belly of civility.” But the artist takes us back, like a filmmaker might, in order to take us forward. That blood-red resin on the floor is the same blood, spilled centuries ago, now being spilled on the streets of our Caribbean cities. How to break the spell?
Y Art Gallery
26 Taylor Street
Port of Spain