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TERN Gallery presents “FIVE”: Works by Bahamian artists Brent Fox, Amaani Hepburn, Dyah Neilson, Matthew Rahming, and Keith Thompson

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — TERN Gallery will present “FIVE”, an exhibition supporting the work of 5 emerging Bahamian artists, Brent Fox, Amaani Hepburn, Dyah Neilson, Matthew Rahming, and Keith
Thompson at the tip of this month.

The exhibition, curated by Jodi Minnis, goals to focus on the work of painters, sculptors, and printmakers whose work expands and defies our ideas of “island-life” and pushes our understanding of the constraints of visibility.

“The Higher the Fruit Tree Grows” by Dyah Neilson

“FIVE”, the emerging artist exhibition, can be on view from July 28 to August 27, 2022, with a gap reception on Thursday, July 28 at 7pm.

Starting from realism to abstraction, the works on this exhibition reflect the artists’ developing practices and experimentations. It also seeks to unearth this grouping’s experiential intersection in an area where most Bahamians are either invisible or hyper-visible in relation to the brand of tropicality that The Bahamas exists in.

Working primarily in acrylic paint, Dyah Neilson (she/her) often uses imagery of natural world indigenous to The Bahamas in sly and infrequently opaque ways.

Neilson’s symbolism holds personal meanings which “explore the complexities of spirituality, relationships and femininity”. The beautifully rendered paintings lull the viewer in while holding space for Neilson’s coded compositions.

“Self Portrait” by Brent Fox

Brent Fox’s (they/them) practice is honest and tender in its offering to the viewer. Fox is a multi-media artist working primarily in drawing, painting and photography. On this exhibition, their charcoal renderings of abstracted figures display a confidence in mark-making and intuitive channeling of energy into the work.

Though these pieces are experimental, its sensitivity is seen throughout the breath of Fox’s budding practice. Thematically, Fox centers ideas of intimacy and masculinity.

Amaani Hepurn (she/her) is an oil painter who renders her immediate environment, the relics, fauna, flora, and other people in those spaces. In contrast to Fox’s practice, Hepburn’s practice “uses the matriarch as a lens for exploring her community and re-examing her own femme identity”.

Hepburn’s broad brush-strokes create a vibrancy in her intimate under-paintings. The choice to “leave things bare” while relaying scenes of her immediate environment creates a direct path for connection and nostalgia to the audience. The objects throughout the space carry personality and visual history that’s common in Caribbean yards.

This tenderness, intimacy, and rigor is clear within the work of Matthew Rahming.

“Untitled” by Matthew Rahming

Rahming (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist who uses on a regular basis materials like paper, concrete, rope and clay to craft works of contemplation. Rahming’s practice calls forth discussions on “agency, identity, conflict, tenderness, and Bahamian ethnography” while demanding an understanding of duality. His black and white mono-type prints ebb and flow between dense and textural embossments of fiber to visceral and minimal

Like Rahming, Keith Thompson (he/him) tethers moments of vulnerability, tenderness, and demands nuance and contemplation. Thompson’s tightly rendered paintings broach his experience “growing up in a neighbourhood rife with crime and gang culture. His portraits and self-portraits exercise his own dread of easily falling into criminality.”

“Unseen Gallery” by Keith Thompson

This personal history coupled with traversing an “elitist” industry corresponding to the art world inspired this recent body of labor.

Together, these five artists represent different facets of Nassuvian life, and the honesty of their practices either directly contradicts, or expands on one another’s work. It’s our hope that inside these nuanced experiences, a wider understanding of “island-life” is gained.

For more information on the exhibition, please email Jodi at jodi@terngallery.com.

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