Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
In Spanish Town, the fabrics of the patterned streets are cross-stitched with roots of mature trees providing an airy canopy to the neighborhood below. I live in a space on the second floor of a cubed structure situated only a few steps between a small one-way street and a row of unkempt brush imitating a flowerbed. With its relationship to the street, the house seems to stand above the surrounding pitched roofs of one-story rectangles. Behind the house, you will find a light blue-gray staircase ascending to a small porch floor mounted in the trees. There is something warm and restorative about living on a staircase of trees in the oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge. One characteristic of Spanish Town is that newly renovated houses in the neighborhood stand next to other crumbling ones. In a sense, the neglected houses are reminders of the rich history of the neighborhood. By painting cross-slanted shadows, I am representing mystery associated with my memories of the neighborhood. In Belinda Thompson’s book Vulliard, she described how Edouard Vuillard had a rare ability to evoke the atmosphere of space, to get beyond the superficial, and approach the mysterious core of reality (Thomson, 7). In most of my paintings, there are examples of hiding places, or “holes.” These spaces are normally indentations in the architecture of the neighborhood, such as windows and doors, the crawl-spaces under the houses. This body of work shows the beauty of shadows and holes when combined with exaggerated light and color contrasts. A home is a geometrical site, a conventional hole that we furnish with pictures, objects and wardrobes within a wardrobe (Bachelard, Jolas, Stilgoe, 27). These mysterious places in the paintings are examples of the term “Between-Space”. Another example of the term is the literal space between foliage where you can see the sky as negative space. I focus on these pockets of light and space when I’m painting trees and plants. My paintings focus on the unique character of the neighborhood as well as the scale of the individual. They portray a preservation of my experience as a resident of Spanish Town.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Aldridge, Anna Carey, "Between-Space: Bungalows and Shadows of Spanish Town" (2015). LSU Master's Theses. 2612.