A self-taught artist, Shernavaz has been painting for the past 35 years, ever since she picked up the materials then at hand at home – boot polish and a spare piece of plywood. Since then she has continued to have an interesting relationship with the use of material spurred by the adventure of experimentation. Often using wire-mesh, broken panes of glass, the red laterite soil of Khandala, crushed stones, acrylic Gesso used over the charcoal, to create visual inter-layers in her works.
Since 2005 her main body of work has been with charcoals and the exploration of the momentary frisson of dragging wedges and shapes of charcoal over textured white spaces. Her charcoals are part experimentation and part travelogue investigating nature, topography and the human body. Distilled from her weekly walks in the Khandala hills, aerial views from a plane flying over the Australian desert, the sheer drop into the sea at the Isle of Man, and tree forms. Music for her often acts as inspiration and moodchanger, giving free rein to her synaesthesia where she sees music as moving shapes and colours.
In July 2011 a large monograph was released in Colombo that Shernavaz researched and wrote about on Justin Daraniyagala, a prominent and artistically adventurous Sri Lankan artist from the ‘43 Group. She has a long career in communications and sustainability