Jasmine Thomas-Girvan was born in the parish of St Andrew in Jamaica in 1961. Her formative years were spent in an environment that nurtured her relationship with the nature. The tree filled ‘wonderland’ hidden behind the walls of her parent’s Molynes Road home, belied its urban location and helped to further fuel the fascination with flora and fauna and dualities of meaning evidenced in her work. During that time, she also developed an affinity for found objects – both man-made and natural – which, when incorporated in to her sculptures, function as artefacts, repositories and ciphers for the unique histories of the Americas.
A sculptor, trained in jewellery and textile design, Jasmine received her BFA from the Parsons School of Design and has more recently explored paper making and glass blowing techniques. Her work has evolved during her career from more intimately sized, often wearable objects, to large scale installations with multimedia elements.
Jasmine’s sculptures and installations are as multifaceted as the region in which they were created. The magical realist elements evidenced within them reference ancestral memories, indigenous African cosmologies, postcolonial regional politics, race relations in both the Caribbean and Latin America as well as deeply personal, sometimes tragic aspects of her life. She has oftentimes been inspired by and sometimes referenced the works of writers such as Octavio Paz and Olive Senior.
Her awards include the Tiffany Award for Excellence at Parsons, the Prime Minister of Jamaica’s Certificate of Recognition, the Commonwealth Foundation Arts award in 1996, the Aaron Matalon Award for her contribution to the NGJ’s 2012 and 2017 Biennial exhibitions, and the 2014 Silver Musgrave Medal of the Institute of Jamaica.
Jasmine lives and works in Maraval, Trinidad.