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Real people, real Bermuda

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Sarai Hines wearing goofy shades reflecting the art in her exhibition We See Home.(Photo supplied)

The stupid questions about Bermuda never stopped coming when Sarai Hines lived abroad.

One of the 20-year-old’s favourites was: “You’re from Bermuda, gee how did you get here?”

“I swam!” was her swift reply.

She tired of counting the times she was asked if people lived in huts and how she survived The Bermuda Triangle.

Equally exasperating was when people queried how unemployment could exist in paradise.

She’ll attack many of those stereotypes on Sunday in We See Home, a one-day exhibit at Elbow Beach hotel.

It’s based on her final project at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

She graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a minor in child development.

“I just wanted to show that real people live in Bermuda,” Miss Hines said. “I want people abroad to know that they might see teal water and colourful houses, but this is our home. That is what we see. It is not just a place where you come to take a deep breath.”

The exhibit first ran in the MFA student space where she arranged it to look like an airport terminal.

“I’ll be arranging things a little differently for the Elbow Beach exhibition,” she said. “It is a series of watercolour paintings that look like travel advertisements.”

Miss Hines believes travel advertisements are the cause of a lot of misconceptions.

“They lead you with only a small thing — like the pink sand or Bermuda shorts — but give nothing to grab on to,” she said. “I made my watercolours look like advertisements so it would give people something familiar to build on.”

One of her pieces depicts people from the waist down wearing Bermuda shorts, gombey attire and a school skirt.

“I wanted this one to show that we are a diverse population,” she said. “We don’t all look the same, and yet we tend to come together in times of crisis.”

Also in the show will be an audio recording of 40 Bermudians talking about what they love about the Island.

“When you hear it from four-year-olds up to older Bermudians it is very moving,” she said. “The little children talked about the tree frogs and the birds singing. A lot of people summed it down to the fact that you can relax anywhere and the beach is just five seconds away. Bermuda’s culture was the main topic that everyone scratched on.”

Since graduating, she has been working in marketing at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and selling her art at Harbour Nights.

She is raising money to attend graduate school at Birmingham City University in England. Her dream is to teach high school art in Bermuda.

“I want to help children so they can believe in their goals,” she said.

We See Home will display in the Bermuda Room at Elbow Beach from 5pm to 8pm. Miss Hines’s artwork will be for sale and there will be a silent auction.

“I hope the community can use this somewhere else to promote the real Bermuda,” she said.

Visit her on Facebook or on Instagram, @saraijahdai.

Artwork from Sarai Hines' show, We See Home(Photo supplied)
Artwork by Sarai Hines in her show, We See Home(Photo supplied)