Sun | Jul 15, 2018

The Metamorphosis of Shermaine Stone

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2016 | 11:10 PM

For the self-taught artist, knowing how to begin, which direction to follow and how to motivate and proceed is not an easy task.  Even for students attending art school, the whims and styles of the art teacher is not necessarily suited to the individual artist and their defining elements. 

Creativity isn't something that's encoded in your genes, however, for Shermaine Stone, after starting her art career just two and a half years ago, she has greatly matured not only as a student but also as an individual.

In 2013, Stone joined a group of grade-eight students at their art class, after arriving to an empty classroom, where she would have seen her sixth form students for the last time before their  Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) Examinations.

The summer of that year, she started doing Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Visual Arts and got as far as the journal cover and the first assignment. “I was rescued by the CAPE art and design teacher who determined I was better suited for that level. After reading the syllabus, I agreed with his assessment. I have been enjoying my life as an artist since,” Stone said.

Having developed a passion for intense research based on her new-found love, Stone worked hard and for her efforts, she placed fourth in the island for Art and Design Cape Unit Two. “I listened to my colleague who was my teacher and I ensured that I double-checked all my work. I understood what I needed to do and I worked assiduously at it,” Stone said.

While a student at Meadowbrook High Schools, Stone wanted to pursue a career in architecture. The technical drawing class schedule apparently clashed with art and, eventually, she chose accounts - another subject area with which she was fascinated.   Now with a bachelor of science in accounting and psychology, Stone is now a teacher of accounting and principles of accounts at Ardenne High School.

Stone is happy that she now has the opportunity to live her dream. Change, she said, is inevitable and, over the years, as a Christian, she believes art is her way of bringing glory to God.  “My philosophy continues to be: ‘I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength’,” she said. 

She works primarily with sculpture and is fascinated by working with clay. “It is very obedient and does exactly what I want it to do. I am gifted with my hands. It’s as if I can make you, but I can’t draw you. I am still learning to draw. As an emerging artist, I am still learning and feeling out the things that I like,” she said.

On Saturday, February 20, 2016, Stone will be hosting her first solo exhibition dubbed Metamorphosis, which will feature paintings, drawings, and sculpture. From 6:30 to 9  p.m. at the Meadowbrook United Church selected art pieces will be on sale and viewing continues on Saturday, February 27 and Saturday, March 5, 2016.

“Metamorphosis seeks to showcase the journey I took to be where I am currently. With this exhibition, I hope to inspire people to aim for more, not to accept mediocrity and to constantly place themselves in positions where metamorphosis is always possible, no matter what age and stage of their life they might be,” Stone said.

One of her more popular pieces ‘Let there be Light!’ created as part of her School Based Assessment project will be included in the exhibition. “God said, “Let there be light, and there was light. What better way to be an artist than to mimic the Master Artist Himself. I am fascinated with light and how it changes a room as it interacts with the space in which it is placed  and how it changes the colour of walls, eyes, jewellery's, and water,” Stone said.

This project was conceptualised in September 2014 and is illustrated in seven chapters starting from Genesis ( Idea and Concept), Chronicles (Research), Jeremiah (At the Potter’s House), Lamentations (Lessons and Construction), Acts of Beautification (Painting), Revelation (Installation and Illumination) and ended April 2015 on The Seventh Day (Reflection and Rest).

Stone is encouraging individuals to step out of their comfort zone and become content in the unknown. “The creative nature of Christ was deposited in me a long time ago. I want to share what God has given me through my eyes and my hands. Dream ridiculous dreams and allow God to make what He has deposited in you a reality. Build your own testimony of faith,” Stone said.

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