Community Stories

Suburban Labyrinth, 2017

Julia Barbosa Landois

Julia Barbosa Landois is an interdisciplinary artist whose work has been featured in galleries, museums, and performance festivals in the USA and abroad, including the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Landois is a 2018-2019 Studio Resident at the Lawndale Arts Center, an Urban Harvest garden educator, and a lecturer at the University of Houston.

Suburban Labyrinth, 2017

Wood salvaged from post-hurricane home debris piles, latex paint
19 x 22 feet

Suburban Labyrinth is a walking meditation labyrinth, constructed using wood salvaged from home debris piles following Hurricane Harvey. The painted path design is inspired by the often labyrinthine street maps of Houston suburbs, scaled to approximately 19 x 22 feet. This piece was originally commissioned by the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival in San Antonio, TX. I had planned to make the sculpture out of salvaged wood long before the storm, thinking about the endless sprawl of Texan cities, the waste cycle of construction, and the irony of slowly traversing on foot a map made by the culture of cars.

Then the weather changed everything.

The materials in the piece come from my own badly flooded neighborhood, where the idea of being “trapped in the suburbs” took on a terrifyingly literal meaning as boats floated down our street and neighbors lost their homes. Among the labyrinth pieces are closets, kitchen shelves, and disassembled IKEA furniture. The sculpture became a labor of love, an homage to my new home and the neighbors who helped care for my family and so many others.