By Avni Goel
Ahmrii Johnson’s first solo exhibition, “I Had a Talk with God”, features a range of captivating paintings and garments that capture the vibrancy of human spirit, nature, and heritage. Drawing from her Bahamian-American background, all of the artworks are an homage to Caribbean tradition and culture.
Each painting emulates botanical tapestries meshed with Caribbean patterns. Portraying a world bordering on the surreal, colors are heightened, figures are exaggerated, and landscapes are lush with patterning and motifs. Evocative of tropical sceneries, Ahmrii treats vibrancy with more vibrancy. Through the layering of patterns and colors, there is a harmonious juxtaposition of shapes both geometric and organic. The painted scenes are almost dreamlike while simultaneously rooted in the natural word.
Photos by @rrrhia on Instagram.
As for Ahmrii’s garments, they not only visually incorporate Bahamian flora, but are directly treated with the herbs and plants utilized in traditional bush medicine (bush medicine is a Bahamian term describing the use of native herbs for medicinal purposes). Featuring a range of techniques including knitwear, weaving, batik design, and illustration work, the clothing is a diverse collection showcasing Ahmrii’s many interests within fashion while maintaining unification in its Caribbean influence.
Photo by @eyeoftheheagle on Instagram.
A Parsons School of Design graduate, Ahmrii received her degree in Fashion Design in 2023. Her training in fashion transcends past garment creation as her paintings depict figures inspired by high fashion photography, wearing the same patterned pieces as the ones she has designed. This notion of her tangible garments also living inside her paintings play into the surrealism of connecting the inner and outer worlds. Blurring the lines between imagination and reality, her thoughts are manifested into both visual and tactile forms.
“I Had a Talk with God'' is an all encompassing exhibition bridging Ahmrii’s artwork and journey as an artist. Guided by a rich spectrum of influence ranging from Caribbean culture, fashion design, and nature, Ahmrii’s body of art is a symphony of knowledge, introspection, and personal connection to the meaning of heritage.
Follow Ahmrii on Instagram and view the full exhibit at:
179 Canal St. #4B, New York,
[Running until October 22]