Annette LeMay Burke
Member of the Month January 2022
My parents died within a few months of each other. They lived in the same house for 60 years, from the day they were married until their deaths. Once they were gone, I was left with my memories of our lives together and their possessions, including a well-organized archive of family photos.
In my series, Memory Building, I projected those vernacular photographs onto the surfaces of my childhood home, in the same locations they were originally made. Then I rephotographed the scene. By fusing photos from the past onto the present-day walls, I unearthed six decades of engrained memories and captured my family’s vanishing history that once permeated our mid-century suburban home.
Constructing the projected tableaus made the memories more substantive for me, provided solace for my grieving and created a new family pictorial legacy for future generations. With so many formative experiences rooted and intertwined within this building, saying goodbye to it was also saying goodbye to my parents. Even as the rooms were literally whitewashed in preparation for new owners, my memories continued to resonate within the walls.
Annette LeMay Burke is a photographic artist and Northern California native who lives in the heart of Silicon Valley. A longtime observer of the evolution of the western landscape, Burke is interested in how our environment changes over time and the artifacts—both tangible and temporal—that are left behind. She examines the progress of technology as a marker of time, how the built world and natural world intersect, and how our memories affect perception of place. Burke received a BA in Geology from the University of California at Berkeley. After a decade long career in high-tech, she is now focused on her artistic practice.
Burke has exhibited work throughout the US and internationally at institutions such as Center for Photographic Art, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Candela Gallery, Griffin Museum of Photography, Los Angeles Center for Photography, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Academy of Art Museum, Texas Photographic Society, SE Center for Photography, Photographic Center Northwest, Carpintarias de São Lázaro in Lisbon, Portugal, and FotoNostrum Gallery in Barcelona, Spain.