The Brandon Series: Mnemonic strategies from a 1970s prairie childhood(2012)
Though human memory is notoriously unreliable, within human experience it is also ubiquitous. Everyone has memories and everyone is attached to or driven by those memories in particular ways, holding them dear as something uniquely personal to ourselves. How can we resolve the condition of memory’s ineffability or subjectivity with the fact of its central situation in the formation of knowledge? Put another way, if our childhood experiences are contained within the “vessels” of memory, however do we reach adulthood?
Calgary-based painter Danielle Bartlette addresses herself to such issues of memory in a new body of work divided into two series. With one series in acrylics and another in oils, Bartlette explores her early childhood memories of Brandon, a small city of 46,000 on the Manitoba prairie, two hours west of Winnipeg.
Bartlette’s acrylic series, rendered in acrylic paint and collage media, is comprised of 31 small-format pieces, each a dense mashup of elements investigating the visual thought world of a Canadian prairie kid in the 1970s