Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Marcia Henry: Art of a lioness

Published:Monday | March 27, 2017 | 3:00 AMKimberly Goodall
Henry is multitalented and versatile in all areas of art. She places her handmade jewellery on a ceramic she has done.
Henry shows off a painting she did from a portrait of herself that was taken by her husband.
Henry pyro-engraves a design to her calabash wood.
This piece shows Henry's love for contrast, colour, and family. This is a painting of her daughter, Nailah, when she was 3 years old.
Henry draws inspiration from the loves of her life. This painting was done in honour of her daughter, Asha.
Henry embraces the wonderful works of her hands.
Marcia Henry expresses her passion for the arts.
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Famous poet, William Shakespeare once wrote "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." For 63-year-old Marcia Henry, greatness was inevitable. Her natural abilities to create beauty and emotional power with her hands, head, and heart surpasses understanding.

In photo: Henry is multitalented and versatile in all areas of art. She places her handmade jewellery on a ceramic she has done.

Henry suffers from dyslexia and was considered dunce. She, therefore, had to work twice as hard to prove herself. Being fascinated with the concept of pregnancy she drew her first piece of a woman with a baby in her stomach at age five.

At 12, Henry taught herself how to read and decided to exercise her creative talent.

In high school, Henry also pursued studies in sciences as she loved animals and wanted to become a veterinarian. At 19, she became a pre-trained teacher and taught sciences at the Wolmer's Boys school. She then went on to teach at her past school, Excelsior High for three years.

In photo: This piece shows Henry's love for contrast, colour, and family. This is a painting of her daughter, Nailah, when she was 3 years old.

Recognising her undying love for art, Henry was recommended by two famous artists to attend the Jamaica School of Art, now known as the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where she specialised in graphic design. Henry explains that her love for graphic design derived from its meticulous nature but with limitation to personal expression, she spends most of her time challenging her hands to be creative. She draws, paints, sculpts ceramics, sews, makes jewellery, carves, and pyro engraves.

Henry shares that her favourite material to work with is calabash wood as its history, sparks her interest and inspires her to design pieces that embrace culture.

 

Art is Life

 

"I live, eat, and breathe art. Art is our life," she told Flair. But, who is included in 'our'? In addition to finding solace in creating wonders with her hands, Henry shares that meeting her husband, Philip, in college and sharing the same passion has added more love to her pieces.

She draws inspiration from her four daughters, Nailah, Asha, Monifa, and Afiya. Henry also shares that her love for nature, strong contrast, and colours enhances her motivation to create beautiful, distinct pieces.

 

Hand, Head and Heart

In photo: Henry embraces the wonderful works of her hands.

For many, balancing versatility can be challenging, but Marcia and Philip created an artistic haven that allows them to create and showcase all aspects of their artistic abilities. Though Henry enjoys showcasing and creating pieces that will impact the lives of others, Henry expresses that she will never devalue her work.

"In 1994, Philip's cousin shared with us that he who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and head is a craftsman, but he who works with his hands, head, and heart is an artist," she said with passion in her eyes.

Henry believes that though money can be devalued, her artwork can not. Her pieces are worth every cent.

With a deep appreciation for her hands, Henry continues to challenge her talent by making and creating extraordinary pieces. Take a look!

kimberly.goodall@gleanerjm.com