Because our mission at The Island School is to guide future leaders, we have always encouraged the use of different languages and methods to help students practice exploring with new eyes. When experienced artists join a group of willing students in living well within this place, there is a transformation. Artists help us ground ourselves, expand our thinking, and embolden our work. 

Marielle used her time here to explore, immerse, question, create, and reflect. Between research outings, art presentations, and watercolor workshops, she found ways to connect with this community.

“The fossil of the Conch seemed to me the center of this place, symbolizing that dialectic of transience and permanence, never the whole of experience, yet remaining, yet sustaining and sustained… A shell is a cloak. A cloak that protects, yet holds dear and invites. Power lies in simplicity and within these mundane traversed objects is a capacity of transference of stories, spirituality, the knowledge of rings of gnarls. And what art does offer, whether its physical manifestations are provocative or not, is the space to hide for a moment from your own feelings and allow the process to work through you.”

At the conclusion of the two week residency, Marielle unveiled her interactive and collaborative sculpture. The installation can be viewed, and contributed to, in the main reception at CEI.

Without the ability to recognize, appreciate or discuss the beauty of the organism or ecosystem we are studying, there is an opportunity to disconnect from the emotions that sparked the interest in the first place.

“We must involve every human in our journey toward scientific understanding.  Data is essential, but communicating these findings is imperative. Art is truly a universal language- one that has power to connect deeply and naturally to our emotions. It is when we experience an emotional response to the data that we care. We change. We make a difference.”  – Lisa Schmitt, Director of Arts CEIS

Originally from Trinidad, Marielle holds a postgraduate diploma in arts and cultural management and an MPhil in cultural studies from The University of the West Indies. She was a Fulbright Scholar at George Mason University and completed her PhD in Cultural Studies last year.