Marine biologist turned goldsmith, MerSea Studio is the fusion of Merina Paton's passion for nature, art and local knowledge of Vancouver Island.
Marine Biologist turned artist, Merina Paton was born in 1983 and raised on the mainland of British Columbia. Merina studied the fundamentals of art under teacher Don Portelance at Plac des Arts in Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
After earning her BSc. in Marine Biology from UBC she moved to Vancouver Island to work as an onboard naturalist and field guide, teaching passengers about killer whales in the wild and local history. Known for hand sawn, multi-layered pendants, Merina meshes her local knowledge with her love of nature to inspire her art practice.
“I love where I live and I know that other people love this place and feel a connection to it whether they grew up here and moved away, they have visited here for a short time or they are lucky enough to have made a home here. It makes an impact.”
In her series “For The Love,” Merina returned to her painting roots, exploring themes of west coast landscapes, finding beauty in domestic scenes and movie iconography:
“I’m influenced by the art style developed during the early 2010s at a time when many collectively shared personal photos instantly, online, via a popular app. Advances in technology created in a movement, a moment, when everyone was connected via the internet and carrying a camera(phone) with them. This was a time before marketing, algorithms, influencers and the commerce of attention took over. Motifs of half face selfies, overhead feet shots, items in hand, landscapes, flatlays, daily life. I am responding to the impermanence of the current online landscape by creating something permanent and tangible.”