Memory Lane

    This series encapsulates the sentimentality of places I’ve visited and people I’ve known throughout my life thus far. Time, memory, and their intersections form the basis of this body of work, with heavy emphasis placed on nostalgia. Secondarily, the degradation of memory, turning ordinary scenes into fantastical ones, and layering through space come into play. These pieces examine my relationship with nostalgia and create a preservational lexicon of my experiences.

    Utilizing printmaking as the main medium, I deliberately create with time-consuming processes. Subsequent meditation upon my experiences during this time allows me to engross myself in the portrayed scenes. The inherent multiplicity of printmaking aids with this as well. Through the immense amount of energy these processes take, I have time to intimately ruminate on these memories.
a walk down memory lane, 2022
8” x 9.5”. edition of 10. lithograph.

A Frayed History

vol_04_a_EBAJUC , 2022.
8” x 9”. monotype.

vol_01_d_EB , 2022.
7” x 11 ”. monotype.
vol_07_a_EB , 2022.
8” x 11”. monotype.

vol_02_b_EB , 2022.
11” x 8”. monotype.
vol_05_a_EBM , 2022.
8” x 5”. monotype.

vol_05_a_EBM , 2022.
8” x 6”. monotype.

“When you look back, what do you see? What do you remember?”

“I don’t know.”

    Diving into my memory, I baptize myself in the thoughts that were never meant to resurface. I am washed in nostalgia and drowning in sentimentality. There are visible outlines of houses, people, and objects, but nothing tangible enough to persist. The glimpses come with a certain soreness. A dull ache builds into a crashing wave that overwhelms the nervous system.

    Total shutdown - an ERROR404 flashes on the back of my eyelids. The last light flickers out and it all disappears.

vol_06_a_EBGS , 2022.
8” x 10”. monotype.

vol_01_b_EBGS , 2022.
9” x 11”. monotype.

The Happiest Place on Earth

I am posed alongside these cheesy figurines, desperately praying to God that I blend in among them. A cloak of invisibility lays to my side, just out of reach. My fingers grasp at the fabric, but it disintegrates the moment that I touch it.

    A disposable camera lays on the hotel TV stand. The smell of swimming pool chlorine lingers in my pigtails while the sterile hotel air conditioning circulates in the surrounding space. Once again, I am four years old. I am constricted in my own memory, writhing around in the stifling humidity of this gift shop. Hot, salty tears well in the corners of my eyes and begin to cascade down my cheeks. I have not scraped my knee or tripped over my shoelace again, but instead I am falling in a different crater. As I descend down the tunnel, the Lego blocks that once formed my physical form detach and shatter into colorful shards of plastic.

    Still, I force myself to pick my body back up. I heave forwards, for I cannot do anything else. I cannot walk backwards and expect time to reverse alongside me. Instead, I must keep moving forwards - even if somebody has to push me there in a Mickey-eared stroller.

the happiest place on earth , 2022.
18” x 24”. edition of 10. lithograph.

Snapshots of Memories

The sky divides the landscape into two uniquely shaped puzzle pieces; land and air split into separate worlds. Calendar months roll by, but this memorialization of space carries permanence.

I carry thousands of moments in my back pocket, stuffing both good and bad times into a small fabric pouch. They compress and fold as the mass grows, distorting into simpler forms - a breakdown of what they once were. Every so often, I’ll dig out a particular one. I unwrinkle it across the fabric of my jeans, smoothing out the crevices packed with years of accumulated dirt. What remains is just a glimpse of the past, particularly the interaction between light and land. I do not long for these moments that way I long for others, this is rather a remembrance of what once was.
04/11/2019 , 2020.
10” x 8”. edition of 3. linoleum relief print.

12/11/2019 , 2020.
10” x 8”. edition of 3. linoleum relief print.

09/29/2019 , 2020.
10” x 8”. edition of 3. linoleum relief print.

05/02/2020 , 2020.
10” x 8”. edition of 3. linoleum relief print.


Inside the house there is a home, and inside the home there is a heart. It does not beat in the way ours may, but instead buzzes with electricity, breathes through the fireplace, and sighs through creaky floorboards. The hearth will exist for as long as it is able to persevere.

    One day there will inevitably be silence. Sounds of medical machines replace busy footsteps, smells of sterile hospital air replace home-cooked food, and jars of medications replace the bowls of candy: this is the death rattle of the hearth. When the body passes, it is buried. What happens to the home when it is barren?

224:01 , 2021.
10” x 12”. edition of 7. woodcut relief print.

224:02 , 2021.
10” x 12”. edition of 5. woodcut relief print.

Through the Looking-Glass

A haze blurs my sight, separating the landscape in front of me into fragmented layers of color and light. I have come to the overwhelming, undeniable, and paradoxically final realization that nothing is permanent.

    It’s challenging to exist in an environment where there is too much: too much noise, too much brightness, and too much intensity for a sole person to take in. At the same time, these surroundings will never be enough: things will forever change, morph, and mold to fit what the Earth calls upon. Viewing time through layers clears a pathway of comprehension previously lacking in the amalgamation of existence. No matter how unrelentlessly the clock may tick, the disentanglement of experience simplifies it into a series of digestible perceptions.

through the looking-glass , 2021.
26” x 40”. woodcut with painted tulle layers.

I shuffle through the file cabinet of my brain, sorting memories by date, time, and color of the sky - an encrypted database of each waking day.

    Grainy recollections of past days fill each brain cell. They fold into themselves like origami cranes, compacting into fragments of their unfolded entirety and condensing inside the walls of my skull. The buildup of memory reduces to a thick pulp, repolymerized only by the centrifugal force of my scrambling brain. I carefully extract the m and their trailing strings of data, now reclassified through the lenses of color, light, and thought. When the processing reaches finality, they are shelved away in shiny vials: an anthology of time capsules to be opened only in the far future.

Ephemeral Visions

ephemeral vision: 01 , 2022.
9” x 11”. edition of 6. lithograph.

ephemeral vision: 03 , 2022.
9” x 11”. edition of 6. lithograph.

ephemeral vision: 02 , 2022.
9” x 11”. edition of 6. lithograph.

ephemeral vision: 04 , 2022.
9” x 11”. edition of 6. lithograph.

Ode to Domesticity

We take joy in this momentary lull, for the simplicity of living is one hardly experienced yet exceedingly craved.
The morning light hits your skin with a luminosity that only the sun herself possesses. We are stars wrapped in the galaxy that is this bed, bundled in seemingly infinite light. In this space there exists no time, no obligations, no burdens - just warmth. We’ll get up soon, but not yet... just five more minutes.

ode to domesticity: prelude , 2022.
16.5” x 13”. edition of 6. lithograph.
ode to domesticity: interlude , 2022.
16.5” x 15”. variable edition of 12. lithograph.
ode to domesticity: postlude , 2022.
16.5” x 11.5”. edition of 6. lithograph.

a dissection of the body’s score , 2022.
22” x 16”. edition of 4. screen print.

A Dissection of the Body’s Score

    My body has come undone. It has frayed at the edges, unraveled at the seams, and ripped where it cannot be patched. I hold the back of my palm flush against my face as my fingers turn cold. Clammy hands and a pounding chest reverberate against each other, echoing their unease throughout the nervous system. Synapses combust into sparks as messages transfer between body systems. Tracing my circulatory system up veins, into arteries, and straight to the heart, a diagram of the past twenty years emerges.

This is a dissection - a purely scientific examination. The final autopsy report reveals an anthology of experience.

looking to the future , 2022.
7”x 7”. edition of 6. lithograph.

Reaching / Reckoning

number 999: an end to a phase, new beginnings; the number of conclusions.

    I have started and finished a major life phase in exactly 999 days. Confronted with this information, a part of me wants to believe that it has purpose. I need it to have purpose, it has to have purpose. If not, what was all of this for?

a bittersweet parting , 2022.
8” x 9.5”. edition of 10. lithograph.

reaching / reckoning , 2022.
17” x 23”. edition of 5. lithograph.

© Emily Bernier 2023