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2004

The drawings and textiles of this series were made in the Mappings of Mexico course taught by RISD architecture professor Silvia Acosta. The series explores qualities of light, space, and place in Mexico: the flat facades of street-facing buildings concealing mysterious interiors, the presence of the earth as a raw and powerful material, the helter-skelter scattering of man-made structures across the landcape, and the soothing interiority of sheltered spaces from the sun. Drawings are mixed media: watercolor, ink, gouache, and pastel.

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Wall in San Miguel de Allende. One of the most interesting aspects of Mexican vernacular architecture is its extreme flatness in relation to the street. Private space is maximized: space is enclosed all the way to the sidewalk. Walls of brightly pigmented plaster are painted with a sensitivity to human proportion: the lower portion more likely to be scuffed by passerby is made thicker and darker in color.
Empty fountain in a Oaxacan graveyard. The fountain occurred as a suddenly traditional colonial presence in a very casually maintained graveyard. It was empty and had fallen out of use. The drawing is meant to represent motion in time by being split into two perspectives. Reading from left to right, the viewer moves forward in relation to the fountain.
Pyramid ruins. There are lots of small pyramids all over Mexico, in varying stages of geometry vs. weathering. This drawing looks at the strong presence of geometric mass and brick patterning underneath a large amount of dirt and other organic material.
View of a street in San Miguel de Allende. All buildings are constructed edge to edge. To walk down the street is to feel tightly held by the buildings. This sensation is heightened by the extremely narrow sidewalks.
View downhill from el Museo de las Momias. This museum houses natural mummies, which was the fate of some deceased who couldn't afford to pay rent to remain in the nearby graveyard. Outside of the museum, the hillside is scattered with vendor umbrellas and the town below is equally lively, partially financed by tourism to the museum.
Marker sketch of the interior of a church on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende. Massive columns held up a glass roof.
Marker sketch of an interior corridor of a church on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende.
Pastel and watercolor drawing looking down a hillside of a small town. The array of pigmented plasters and the irregular shapes assumed by adobe bricks creates a softer, layered outline to the city streets.
Sunset in the streets. Drawing is pastel and watercolor.
Having independently learned tapete weaving in San Miguel de Allende, this textile was the final project for the course. Designed to be hung in open space, it represents a flattened abstration of the public street experience. Interruptions in the continuous street facade like barred windows and doors created interruptions in the textile. Loops of wool form shallow interiors, such as could be viewed from the street.
Detail and image of "front-facing facade" of the tapete. This representation applied the flat graphic approach to representation used in traditional tapetes. It relates to the separation of public and private space, where the barriers in space were also psychic barriers between tourists and locals.