Ghosts, floating
Toi Poneke Gallery
5/04/19 - 27/04/19

Reveiw of Ghosts, floating for Art Murmurs, by Jenny Nimon:

“Ghosts, floating, an autobiographical exhibition by Wellington artist and writer Briana Jamieson, features a range of media including oil paintings, poetry, and sculpture. The works act as “abstract shrines to people and experiences”, taking viewers on a journey through lost summers, and moving them to feel their way through their own memories.

Jamieson’s collection is layered with soft textures and shades of cream that feel innocent yet somehow sensual, and absolutely nostalgic—the monochromatic palette gives her oil paintings a kind of fuzzy dreamlike quality. Some of the earlier paintings in the series evoke a feeling I can only describe as buttery, if that can even be an appropriate adjective. Hands folding berries into cream is full of creamy yellow tones and fluidity that make me think of baking and Sundays. There is a kind of comforting warmth that comes from these paintings as they capture small moments like picnics and laughter with a poetic simplicity.

In addition to the oil paintings, Jamieson’s exhibition includes a series of risograph prints of her own poetry. Her writing style focuses on describing specific moments in detail. A standout piece tells of a group of friends sitting on a lounge floor, eating biscuits and placing petals on a sleeping cat. This medium adds texture to the experience, giving viewers the opportunity to paint their own images (metaphorically speaking) and fill in the white space with the experiences they bring along with them. The exhibition also features some polymer clay sculptures which give the collection a sense of visual tactility and groundedness.

The thing that strikes me about this exhibition is how masterfully the pieces are threaded together by their common themes. One particular line in Jamieson’s poetry refers to trinkets left on window sills, while only a few metres away Jamieson’s sculpture series is set up across Toi Pōneke’s very own window sills. This includes beachy treasures like pebbles and potato chips, and taking her parallels a step further, the opening night snacks included the same style of crinkle cut chips—in case the sculpture made you hungry! This symmetry between her poetry and art appears again in the way that her paintings seem to be named for lines from her poems. The amount of thought put into this collection is impressive, and it adds some beautiful layers to the experience.”