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)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New work, new space

"Trading Post", coral cut from the ocean by enslaved Africans used for foundations and walls encased in plexiglass, 2015, La Vaughn Belle
This is a prototype. I may go bigger and/or multiple. I love it. I love the straight cuts on the coral that show the craftsmanship of the enslaved. It's like a "readymade".  These came from the crumbled foundation of the outhouse on the East St. property. I am happy to have found a way to use them.

Fire.Burn.Victoria series, cuts and burns on paper, 2015, La Vaughn Belle
 This is the beginning of a series of work based on the images from fretwork in the town of Frederiksted that was rebuilt after the 1878  Labor Revolt, aka "Fireburn". The cuts and burns in the papers use the two main tools of resistance used at the time.

Chaney Series_003 (we live in the fragments), 2015, La Vaughn Belle
The third in this series. I like working in this size, 48x60, but I think I want to go bigger!

Interview (video)

I was interviewed by one of my students, Denise S. Canton earlier this year for a photography class she was taking in Maryland, USA. If you have 30 minutes and want to more about my work and background check it out. I talk about earliest influences, my transition to becoming an artist and what's it's like to be an artist in the Caribbean. I also discuss some regrets and some challenges in sustaining a creative life.