Gin Stone was born in New York in 1971. She received her formal education in painting from the Hartford Art School in Connecticut. After just over two years, she dropped out to travel the country. She later moved back to New York and worked as a digital media designer before moving to the Cape in early 2002.
As an ardent environmentalist and lover of living creatures, Gin has found great inspiration in the natural world. Having previously worked solely with paint, panel, graphite, ink and paper, she gained a new knowledge of color and form in space. Her last 5 years of work has been dedicated to combining these elements 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: in an eco-friendly live/work studio on Cape Cod.
Gin obtains most of the fishing 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 the 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 are sculpted into shape and size. Stones, shells and lead sinkers becomes eyes. Quahog shells are dremeled into anatomically correct teeth and nails. She uses her husband's veterinary text books and MRIs to ensure accuracy.
By bringing the recovered and recycled North Atlantic fishing gear to the creations of her unusual creatures and otherworldly chimera, Gin hopes to spotlight a collaboration between science, sustainable fishing 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 continued 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.