In final preparation for the solo exhibition at Meter La Vaughn Belle will be doing a residency completing the project "Constructed Manumissions".
“Constructed Manumissions” is a project I began working on during my last residency in at the Danish Arts Workshop in August 2016. It consists of constructing small house models that use the fretwork designs of the town of Frederiksted in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. During the Danish colonial period this town was burned down during an 1878 Labor Revolt. Although slavery had been abolished 30 years prior, the working and living conditions were not much different. The town was rebuilt during what was known as the “Victorian Era” where these ornate building embellishments were popular. Additionally the shape of the house is based on the designs of the homes of the working class, in particular the “Free Colored” community in which my artist studio is located in Christiansted. Together the references speak to this larger idea of constructed and negotiated freedoms, how people created liberatory spaces for themselves, and how these ideas are very much connected to the architecture of the Virgin Islands, formerly the Danish West Indies.