Nichol Brinkman

You Have Your Father’s Cheeks
wood, acrylic, xerox

My work deals with childhood memory of my father who passed away when I was nine. My memories of him are an agglomeration of stories I have been told, vague recollections, old family photographs and my own imagination. In them, my father is always performing an act of heroism. It was not until these last few years, when I started to question the authenticity of these recollections, that I realized that to a great extent I play the role of director of my memories and had to deal with the conflict of not trusting them while still cherishing them.

To show this in my work, I have created large scale toy theaters in a diorama style. Inside each theater are scenes from my memory, each featuring my father doing something courageous or noble. On the façade of the theaters, taking the place of painted cherubs or statues, are images of my three older brothers and my mother – always with an instrument in hand to show that it is through their words that I have come to know my father. The backdrops are layered with actual and implied space signifying uncertainty.

© Nichol Brinkman