Acadian, Louisiana, Contemporary art, Nova Scotia, ULL, Louisiana artists, sense of place
Acrylic on un-stretched canvas
The various elements in this painting are the aboiteau, our current bed and the geometric matrix (circles in a pattern) obtained by plotting the flowers and branching of a plant from Nova Scotia intermingled with a clover plant from our yard. We are linking the aboiteau with our bed.
First there is the obvious dream reference- a reference that could be taken in several directions. For us the accomplishment of “stemming the tide of the early Acadians” by the development of the dike system and the aboiteau, and the “clapper” basically a swinging valve or door that kept back the salt water yet allowed the land to drain, is acknowledged here however it is also the “back –wash” symbol of not yet achieving the stemming of the relentless tide of assimilation. The aboiteau in the painting is the connecting feature between the top portion of the image with the bottom.
The bed is the place of rest, sleep and dreams. The divided canvas suggests separation. The entire context of the painting is placed in a hyper-reality, in an expanded time frame – a dislocation.
Aboiteau farming is a labor-intensive farming method in which earthen dikes are constructed to stop high tides from inundating marshland. A wooden sluice or aboiteau (plural aboiteaux) is then built into the dyke, with swinging doors that allow for water to drain from the farmland but slams shut at high tide to prevent salt water from returning to the fields. The English in the American colonies to the south preferred another, more labor-intensive method—forest clearing.
(see aboiteau image)