Spirits In The Night, Kyla


Just recently, I have come back to New Orleans from New York City because I was unable to pay rent. I came to stay at a friends house in one of the oldest parts of the city. New Orleans has a very rich and old history. I am currently staying in one of the oldest buildings in the city and it is haunted. I can only imagine the horrors which took place within these walls, yet I’m also aware there were and are good times as well. I painted this piece the day after experiencing a sort of ghostly presence throughout the night.

The ghostly presence is not only throughout the house, but in the city, and the world. Covid-19 has created mass absences in two of the greatest cities in the United States. This absence is felt and seen. The haunting aspect is something I cannot escape, and it seems to be not only the ghost that scare me. In such a crisis, I am grateful for everything I have. My heart goes out to the children who are forced to stay in uncomfortable housing situations. The children who are out of school, and are not being fed by school lunches. The parents who are struggling to pay rent, to feed their children, and who are out of work. It really is times like this that disturb me the most, that haunt me. What we see is people afraid of a virus that cannot be seen. I am afraid of what is being seen. The social structures of todays society and how security is something that depends on socio-economic status.

Oppression is ancient. The inter relations of socio-economic status and security, health, and happiness, is ancient. These concepts haunt the world, globally. They are the ghosts, which linger through the night, and haunt through the pandemic.

Though I felt the ghost in this building which was built in 1849, they are not what I am truly afraid of. I am afraid of how the pandemic creates a greater divide between the rich and poor. I am afraid of how Covid-19 deepens the stress of oppression. I am afraid of the ignorance and the self pity of people in comfort. And more importantly, I am afraid that this could be used to be apart of a larger agenda.

1 Comment
  1. Avatar photo
    Anastasia Patsey

    Dear Kyla,
    I’m very glad that you found the opportunity to join the virtual studio. I hope that you will find inspiration and support in this community.

    Very sorry to hear about the struggles the pandemic put you through. But it’s good to know that you have a safe place to stay now (even if it’s haunted :)) and can continue your creative work, reflect on what is going on.

    I’m closely following the news coming from the USA. The idea of reopening the economy and “paying” for that with peoples’ lives is horrifying. When I first heard about it I had a feeling of a pagan ritual where human sacrifices are offered to the economy as some mighty god.

    That’s a strong painting. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the work-in-progress.

    Kind greetings from St. Petersburg,

    P.S. What is the approximate size of this work?

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