My work generally deals with memory, identity, and family history. I felt disconnected from the found photographs I referenced in The Distance of Memory series. I felt that being so distant from the people and time made it incredibly difficult to be excited about painting from this found imagery. I used personal items to stand in for a person. The blue chair, red coat, and gas can form a character that interacts with the surroundings awkwardly. The highly saturated paint colours sit forward on the picture plane, separating the “figure” from its environment. This relates to my own experience of feeling disconnected from my own family’s history that I found documented in photographs at my grandparent’s home.
The photos I used as references were taken at my grandparent’s house in Pleasant Point, a small community north of Lindsay, Ontario. It was to be my last trip to the property before it was sold by my grandmother’s estate. While there, I made use of my Opa's burn barrel. I’d found my old sketchbooks and notebooks at my mother's house and went through each and every one, removing the important pages and had decided to burn the rest. In a way, I was curating my documented memories as I reviewed them. I then allowed the former version of Bri, through her written and drawn stories to burn away into ash. It was cathartic and renewing.
I believe that with the ability to document everything in our lives comes the need to know when to stop recording.
Some parts of your history need to be let go instead of archived.