My art practice focuses on reconnecting to the inner child’s joyful sense of play. From 2016-2019, I worked primarily with ceramics to build a large family of imaginary friends inspired by my subconscious mind. I found that working with clay, due to its unpretentious and therapeutic qualities, was an easy entry-point to begin making artwork after a long hiatus.
Feeling like an outsider is a large theme in my artwork. I celebrate this alien-ness by making strange figures: nature spirits that are part flower-part human, amorphous buddhas, and blobby ceramic fertility statues. The initial allure of ceramics was the spontaneous ways in which the glazes mixed. I’m recreating this unpredictable process in 2D by allowing watercolor and salt to blend organically on paper, revealing the landscapes of my inner world. I’m led by the materials and working purely from imagination.
Venus in Blue Jeans, 2020, ink on watercolor paper, 31 x 38" (framed)
"Venus in Blue Jeans" is a painting from my ongoing Venus series. These works originally began as ceramic figurines, celebrating creative life force and the rebirth of imagination, but changed into a painting series during the pandemic when I no longer had access to a kiln.
Shamona Stokes is a visual artist who works out of her studio in Jersey City, NJ. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY (2002). Her sculptures and mixed media paintings explore the imaginary figures & landscapes of her subconscious mind. Shamona is most known for her playful Venus series–which have become iconic symbols of the artist’s creative rebirth after rediscovering making art again after a long hiatus.
Shamona has exhibited throughout NYC at Allouche Gallery (as one of the regional semi-finalists in the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series), The Untitled Space, Kate Oh Gallery, Superfine! Art Fair, Deep Space Gallery in Jersey City, SCOPE Art Basel in Miami, and internationally at Headline Gallery in Vancouver. Her first solo installation, “Horn of Plenty”–a large-scale ceramic shrine dedicated to the human imagination—was shown at the Fort Worth Community Art Center in Texas (2019). Her work has also been featured in media outlets like New York Magazine’s “The Cut”, The Jealous Curator, The Untitled Magazine, and Create! Magazine.