Gin Stone was born in New York in 1971 . Her formal training is in painting, with just over two years in before dropping out of the same art school that Kiki Smith had left in the mid-70’s. She traveled the country before moving back to New York, where she worked as a digital media designer before moving to the Cape in early 2002.
She is an ardent environmentalist and lover of living creatures. Having previously worked solely with paint, panel, graphite, ink and paper, the experience gave her knowledge of color and form in space. Her last 5 years of work has been combining these things in a new way: humane taxidermy.
She uses hand dyed reclaimed longline fishing gear as a medium. The material itself is part of the work’s narrative. The local fishing culture is deeply ingrained where she lives, an eco-friendly live/work studio on Cape Cod.
She obtains most of the line from the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance in Chatham, MA who collects the used material from fishermen in hopes that it will not be discarded in the ocean’ or a landfill. Gin likes to think of the things the gear has seen and done in its life before it arrives at her studio.
Once there, it is cleaned and hand colored with fabric dyes, when dry it is painstakingly attached to forms. The line can be manipulated in many ways to mimic different types of fur, scales, or feathers. When it comes to other creature features, she uses found materials that is sculpted into shape and size. Stones, shells and lead sinkers becomes eyes. Quahog shells are carved into anatomically correct teeth and nails. She uses her husband’s veterinary text books and MRIs to ensure accuracy.
By bringing the recovery and recycling of the used North Atlantic fishing gear to the creation of her sculptures of unusual creatures and otherworldly chimera, she hopes to put a spotlight on collaboration of science, sustainable fishery practices and creativity; as well as a hopeful outlook on the future of ocean health.
In addition to her current body of work, Gin still frequently paints and draws, with a focus on reclaimed materials and environmental issues. She looks to the work of Gustav Klimt and The Quilters of Gee’s Bend as inspiration for pattern and color.