OCAD University (Toronto, ON)
My experience is that my family functions first and foremost as a unit of grief and remembrance. We are “verloren hoop” : the advance guard. A lost, forlorn heap. My work seeks to make monuments of sentimental items. This knitted, patchwork blanket — crafted many years ago by my Oma Vermeer-Honingh— holds memories, experience, and age within its many knots.
Omnipresent in my mother’s van, this blanket serves as a safety measure on long drives to visit family in mid-north Ontario and beyond. I began taking photos on my solo travels to document my own travels. The context and location of each painting is provided by the title, as a form of recordkeeping.
My large scale paintings often situate it within an unknown and ambiguously rendered environment to serve as a reminder that it is not necessarily the place that provides meaning, but the memory of the space you bring with you.
Bri Vermeer is a painter and printmaker working out of Toronto, ON. She left her small hometown to pursue an education at OCAD University. Bri’s relationships with her small extended family form the foundation upon which she creates work. Working through the loss of her immigrant grandparents and father at a young age, Bri seeks to find the threads of her familial narrative. Her focus is on the intersection of memory, grief, sentimental textiles, and finally the distance between her family members through time. To tackle these concepts, Bri currently oscillates between the intuitive process of creating large scale oil paintings, and the intimate and methodical process of printmaking.