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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Lauren Greenwald

SPE Member since 2010
Member Chapter: West

Application Portfolio

This series explores a most curious landscape I have discovered; the backyards of my neighbors. Having lived all my adult life in major cities, I have long viewed outdoor space as a precious commodity, and one very rarely private. Now, in my "charming residential neighborhood" in Albuquerque, I find myself roaming the service alleys behind the houses. The streets in this neighborhood are named for colleges; Princeton, Vassar, Dartmouth, Cornell, and so on. The private back yards of the homes, neatly spaced along streets whose names suggest a kind of elitism, are suddenly open to me, the casual stroller, accessed through the liminal space of the back alleys. Fences and walls abound, separating, defining, protecting each space, but each rear view, even those completely obscured by high walls, show me an intimate side of each house's occupants, one perhaps not meant to be seen.

In the city, staring out windows at one's neighbors is the norm. Not particularly interested in my neighbors, I instead stared at the cityscapes created by the structures and their changing faces. Here in New Mexico, I can't help looking even more closely at the private environments fashioned out of disposable space, and wondering who these people really are; what makes them use these spaces as they do? And they do use them - as junkyards, parking lots, playgrounds, or gardens.

Treading the uncertain line between the public and the private, peeking through cracks in fences and over walls, I find, in adjusting to a new place, a new world waiting to be explored

Application Slide

Between Edith and Walter





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