DAINA HIGGINS recent paintings oil on panel
Oriole St. at Ridge Avenue
2018
oil on panel
18 x 18 inches
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recent paintings

Chromedge Gallery Exhibition October 2018: "Ridge Avenue"

This series is titled "Ridge Avenue" and is comprised of eight oil paintings on panel. The subject of these paintings centers on sites in North and Northwest Philadelphia along Ridge Avenue, one of America's oldest roads, that travereses the ridge of land flanked by the Wissahickon Creek and the Schuylkill River. Ridge Avenue also happens to be my street, and after witnessing constant change and upheaval that the recent development boom has brought - including nearly losing the historic house next door, I began to see evidence that Ridge Avenue itself is representative of the boom and bust cycles of American urban development beginning with the colonialists.

Beginning as a Lenni Lenape footpath to the Schuylkill River water source, Ridge Road morphed into an early suburb of grand homes flanked by farms and industrial mills down near the Manayunk Canal, continued as a bustling market during the post-war period, suffered decades of economic downturn which brought auto malls and used car lots where once large stone mansions sat but had fallen into disrepair, and is now emblematic of the historic preservation battle with gentification in America's oldest cities. Within a two-mile stretch, Ridge Avenue is at once a major highway, a main street, a wooded suburb, a bedroom community with apartment complexes, single family homes, major retailers, small enterprises, auto-based entities, schools, and pedestrian life all hours of the day.

In my paintings I seek to visualize these adjacencies and co-existence of binary relationships. By working with a diminutive scale and busy details, I am referring to the constrained geography of this road and particular neighborhood.
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