SESSION: Laying a Table for the Ancestors

Live Book Tickets

Join us for a SESSION celebrating the poetics and circular temporality of harvest, on the occasion of Jasmine Thomas-Girvan’s solo exhibition Bathed in Sacred Fire, presented in collaboration with Sour Grass and the Piet Zwart Master of Fine Arts.

This special SESSION moves through a cycle of gathering, preparing, sharing, and enjoying the produce of a garden in dialogue with the celebration of an exhibition. Its title ‘Laying a Table for the Ancestors’ is inspired by the grounding from the artistic practice of Trinidad and Tobago artist Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, on the occasion of her first solo exhibition in Europe as part of Kunstinstituut Melly’s SOLO DUETS series. Often embedded in material traces of the Caribbean such as seed and gourds, palm fronds, and feathers, Thomas-Girvan’s sculpture embraces a botanical temporality of place in which ancestry can be embraced as futurity as well as past.

For this program, we will gather at our downstairs bookshop and café MELLY, before taking a short walk to the Piet Zwart Instituut where we will be welcomed by students and staff for an introduction to their collaborative garden. The planting and cultivation of the garden will be introduced, as well as the pedagogic principle of the garden as a place of collective learning among artists.

Following this, we will return to MELLY for a conversation program featuring honored guest, the author, and poet Olive Senior. Connecting virtually, Senior will share insights from her award-winning works such as the Gardening in the Tropics (1994, winner F. J. Bressani Literary Prize) which explores a Jamaican literary consciousness of political, natural, and spiritual worlds. Senior will engage in conversation with Thomas-Girvan, as well as with guest curators Annalle Davis and Iyawo (Holly Bynoe Young) of Sour Grass, a curatorial agency dedicated to cultural practitioners of the Caribbean region.




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