Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can kill you. 

Title: Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can kill you. 
Year created: 2021
Technique: Digital illustration using Adobe Illustration

This body of work comprises photographs and short video clips as a response to the loneliness and isolation, the frustration and fear of prolonged emotional and verbal abuse. Within these largely monochromatic works, I have created the sense of concrete coldness and mental entrapment experienced by so many women behind closed doors. 

Author’s details: 
Name: Antionette McMaster/ Harold Webster
Country: South Africa

Bio:  Visual artist born in 1970 residing in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently studying towards an Honours Degree in Visual art at UNISA. She works in all mediums but prefer mixed media. 

Some of her artworks were chosen to hang in the UNISA Visual art building and her workbooks are being used for teaching purposes. A few of her artworks are displayed at the Main Art Building at the Sunnyside campus. Since 2017, she has been involved in several group exhibitions. Julie Miller African Contemporary Gallery in Craighall, Johannesburg represented her from 2017 to 2020. In October 2019, three of her artworks were chosen to be displayed at the African National Fashion Week at Sandton Convention centre. In 2020, 645 female artists were asked to submit artworks for the #ALLWOMXNMATTER for the Julie Miller African Contemporary gallery in affiliation with Art@Africa. The top fifty took part in the exhibition at both galleries and hers was chosen as one of the top five artists. 

Persona Group Exhibition, Edg2020 Gallery. (5 June 2021 – 01 July 2021).                                  Joburg Fringe 2021 – @artroomparkhurst (2 September – 5 October 2021. 


Winner of the German SABAA Art Award 2021 “Pandemic – Voices and Views from Sub-Saharan Africa” in the Photography category. 


October 11, 2021


  • Njabulo Mali

    Very touching imagery.

    Reply October 19, 2021 at 7:21 pm
  • Antionette McMaster

    Thank you so much

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 11:52 am
  • Antionette McMaster

    Follow me on instagram @toni_mcart
    Facebook – @antionettemcmasterart

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 11:54 am
  • Chantelle Ras

    Powerful and heartfelt! A true reflection of the helplessness felt by so many..

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 12:28 pm
  • Toni Jenkens

    These images touched me to the core. They portray exactly what it’s like to be trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship.
    Please keep doing this, you are a voice for so many of us who cannot speak!!!

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 4:43 pm
  • Rene

    Very powerful imagery, so many emotions perfectly captured.

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 5:30 pm
  • Hetta Pieterse

    The images are very hard-hitting, with the women dressed in white nighties, thenselvesseeming on edge, yet very vulnerable – especially holding very large knives. It’s almost as if the padded asylum rooms are there to protect them from themselves but will not, and the visual tension is that they can harm themselves inside that room, splattering and staining everything with their own blood. What I miss is some visual cues which tell the viewers about the Pandemic context. As is, the images are classic and span across time. But imagine adding any visual cue about the deadly germ-infected world out there. …

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 5:33 pm
  • Antonette Kruger

    Your art captured so many emotions, it is absolutely magnificent. The images tell words that we can’t explain. Your art is beautiful

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 7:52 pm
  • David Kapp

    Real thought provoking stuff, the message couldn’t be clearer.
    I love her work

    Reply October 20, 2021 at 10:43 pm
  • Davelene Schulz

    Ver expressive!

    Reply October 21, 2021 at 9:35 am
  • Jo Whitehouse

    The image with the lady, crossing her arms and holding the knife is heartbreaking……

    Reply October 21, 2021 at 9:37 am
  • Stuart Martin

    Antionette, thank you for sharing your message, it is inspiring and opens one mind to abuse., its impacts and effect on people. Thank you!

    Reply October 22, 2021 at 7:48 am
  • Cathy

    Domestic and verbal abuse is an epidemic that is not spoken about. Others don’t see the trauma that the victim is going through. These imageries truly tells the story. Well done!!

    Reply October 22, 2021 at 10:44 am
  • Ulrich Wünsch

    Sensual and brutal in their direct approach to angst, violence, suffering, lonesomeness and all that, what humans, what women, endure.

    Reply October 23, 2021 at 5:12 pm
  • Harold Webster

    Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your processes. Antionette. Difficult unspoken subjects make the capturing of these images,challenging and exciting,to capture .Thank you for the write ups and display of these on Digifest. Thank you for shining light for those who are in abusive relationships. The motion pictures in your body of work,give us encouragement on breaking free one day.May this message travel far and wide . Hx

    Reply October 27, 2021 at 7:21 pm
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