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Solo Exhibition | Peachcan Gallery | January 12-Feb 28, 2018

Peachcan Gallery January 12- February 28, 2018 Artist Talk, February 1, 2018 Possessions | La Vaughn Belle

Chaney (we live in the fragments) _009,48"x60"

Having changed colonial hands seven times, the longest being Denmark and the last being the United States, the Virgin Islands has a long history of being a possession. During this time people, products, memories, stories, cultures and languages were transferred and transformed. There are countless reminders of this process and history. From the names of our towns after Danish royalty, the sugar mills in various stages of ruin that populate the hillsides, to the “chaney” that continues to be found on many properties, often surfacing after a hard rainfall. Historically, children rounded these broken pieces of pottery and used them as play money, a type of imagined currency. A morphed version of both "china" and "money", “chaney” serves as a reminder of our colonial past and fragmented Caribbean identities. However, these shards also tell the visual stories of power and projection and how cultures saw each other and themselves in this vast transAtlantic narrative. Similar to how we have reconstructed our histories, these paintings represent a symbolic gesture of restoration, a type of map that charts both the real and the imagined. They gather and take control of the fragments and recast them as embodied wholes, making visual the process of taking control of one’s narrative and being one’s own possession.
La Vaughn Belle



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