Cyclic Thoughts | INFINITE Minutes, a solo exhibition by Arielle Rahming, will open on Friday, April 9th, 2021. 5pm – 9pm
Sixty 2 Sixty Art Gallery – Bay Street
Arielle Rahming (b.1989) is a Bahamian abstract painter, writer, and private property manager based in Nassau. Having lived and worked in the Abaco Islands from 2015 to 2019, her works are a manifestation of her thoughts, emotions and moods, contributing to the ongoing, vast conversation of mental health within Black Caribbean society.
Rahming’s practice began in first grade with doodle drawings decorating the pages of her notebooks and—after exploring different art forms—culminated in a passion graffiti lettering with pencil crayons by the twelfth grade. With her parents always encouraging her artistic expression, Rahming found bottles of acrylic paint lying around the house and one day decided to experiment by creating her first abstract mural on her bedroom wall. She is most inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat and abstract pioneers, i.e. Jackson Pollock, who exercised a certain liberty in their pieces that followed no particular set of rules. Her practice seeks to shift the public perception of abstract art by highlighting its ability to communicate her emotional depth through non-traditional methods such as writing.
Rahming is a 2006 Queen’s College alumni who obtained her BA (Hons) in English and Professional Writing from York University in Canada in 2011. Her works have been featured in: The CHAN PRATT INSPIRATION “Keep Hope Alive” Art Exhibition (2020), BLACKOUT at The Creative Centre in Nassau, Bahamas (2019) and The St. Augustine’s College Alumni Association Lighthouse Awards & Gala Cocktail Reception Art Exhibition (2019).
Her first solo exhibition Cyclical Thoughts | INFINITE Minutes explores Rahming’s experience after surviving Hurricane Dorian. Using abstract art as vehicle, her works speak to the post-traumatic effects of natural disasters, the loss of belonging, and the abrupt movement from place to place. The exhibition will be open for the viewing public on Friday, 9th April 2021 at Sixty2Sixty Art Gallery.
There is unique complexity in capturing one’s own psyche. I still resided in Abaco when Hurricane Dorian (2019) devastated the island and left a wasteland in its wake. Soon after leaving, I began to experience extreme restlessness and what seems like a merry-go-round of thoughts that I am unable to stop. I realized that the traumatic impact of the hurricane extended far beyond material loss or death and gave way to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well. My experience inspired me to use the abstract as a vehicle to speak about surviving a natural disaster, the loss of belonging, and the abrupt movement from place to place.
I’ve always been drawn to the elements of abstract art—mainly its departure from the norm. My intentional use of color, textures, shapes and space allows me to visually translate what I am psychologically feeling. My subjects are the visual manifestations of my thoughts, moods and emotions. Often working with acrylic, my practice has developed through the use of layering, drip-drain and line work to create textures that enhance my subjects. My hope is that my practice will shift the public perception of abstraction from the often-held belief that it’s simply splattered paint on a canvas to the realization that it serves as a portal into the artist’s and our own, oftentimes, unresolved feelings.
Description of Work
Cyclical Thoughts | INFINITE Minutes speaks to the unexpectedly extreme changes to my mental health after Hurricane Dorian. The circular shapes represent my restless mind, with my thoughts on repeat for what feels an infinite amount of time. Texture and layering play a pivotal part in my work as they highlight the complexities of the human experience. Using acrylic paint, oil pastels, and other mediums such as sand help to build the layers on the canvas to accentuate the differences in our individual feelings. It is my intention for viewers to see the humanity in these textures, colors, lines and circles – all representing its own subconscious thought or emotion.
Juju Media Ltd.
Interviewer – June Collie