Artist Statement

I see my art practice as an investigative tool, as a way to engage in dialogue, a platform for thinking and a means to develop knowledge. My work has evolved from figurative and symbolic explorations in painting to a variety of modes that include drawing, video, performance, installation and public intervention projects. Therefore, the emphasis of my work does not lie in the medium, but in creating a space to explore social contexts and collective narratives. History, film, soap-operas, fairy-tales and mythology all inform my work in that they are both narrative modes that I use as well as sites of investigation. I look for the narratives inscribed in various objects and places and find ways to add to them and at times subvert them. Because I live in the Virgin Islands, a place that has changed colonial hands seven times, the longest being Denmark and the last being the United States, I am particularly interested in the colonial and neocolonial narrative and how it shapes identity, memory and reality. (return to website)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Interview with David Knight for ARC Magazine

I was recently interviewed by David Knight for ARC Magazine.  What' nice about doing interviews (not that I've done a ton of them) is that they get you thinking about your work and making connections. Here is one that I made made for myself in our conversation:

DK: You’ve said that you ‘re interested in “the provincial and the domestic”. What does this mean?

LVB: The provincial often has a negative connotation. People think of small towns, small islands, small mindedness. But I am interested in all the things that make a culture and a people who they are – the idiosyncrasies of a place. I had a class once in semiotics that taught that in every culture there is a “semiosphere” that only the people of that culture can understand. My interest in the provincial is about wanting to know that space as best I can.
In terms of the domestic, I’m obsessed with houses. How they are made, how people decorate them, what they mean to different people. A lot of my work touches on these issues. I suppose you might say that the “provincial and the domestic” are the same space. They are both a type of semiosphere.

Check link for complete interview.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm in this show, Caribbean: Crossroads of the World. If you are in NY between June and December 2012. Check it out. My piece is in the Museo del Barrio, Hideaway, a small handmade book of cutouts I produced while in Denmark in 2008.

I am really amazed at how big this show is and what a massive undertaking it must have been. I look forward to seeing the catalog and dialoguing with more artists who were a part of the show and went to the openings in NY.

I do have to say that I thought I was the only artist from the Virgin Islands in the show and later learned that among the over 300 artists is Camille Pisarro. Interesting.
Hideaway, handmade book of cut-outs, 2008, La Vaughn Belle 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Andree Bagoo writes about the "NEW MEDIA" show at TNT's 2011 Film Festival

Muhe Frida (right) and La Vaughn Belle (left) at Medulla Gallery, Trinidad & Tobago

Andre Bagoo writes:
"La Vaughn Belle‘s ‘Somebody’s Been Sitting in My Chair’ worked well in the space. The video work showed the artist re-enacting the scenes of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, wandering an 18th century colonial great house, dressed in casual wear. The idea of the house echoed the space, which is itself a kind of house with wandering viewers encountering work and asking: who owns the work? For whom are these pieces intended? These complex questions mirror the complex issues in the piece which throws up ideas of ownership, identity, ‘beauty’, colonialism, race and class struggle. Is the artist/walker an intruder or the real owner reclaiming the space? Does she reclaim the space or is the space reclaiming her? In other words: what power does she really have? Who is she?"
To read the full article click here.