Bio: Danielle Burns, Tennessee, USA.
Danielle Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York, but at age one was moved south to be raised by a clan of Yankees in a the small southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. She attended Middle Tennessee State University where she was awarded Bachelor degrees in Fine Arts in Painting and Art Education. In 2009, she moved even deeper south after being accepted into the graduate printmaking program at Louisiana State
University. She received her MFA in Printmaking in 2012. She is currently living in Baton Rouge and working as an adjunct instructor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Statement of work:
A child playing with matches is forgivable. Kids are curious. They want to explore adult activities through play. Does it stay innocent when that child experiments with the effects of firecrackers in frogs and gasoline on animals? What happens when they light the match? The grey area between childhood innocence and realization of wrong intrigues me and I find it fascinating how adult perspectives of such malicious deeds often vary.
The children in I depict should not be seen as victimized innocents for whom to place blame, but as vehicles to question this strange time and transition in everyone’s childhood and reflect on an adult tendency to alter their perspectives of these times later in life. They speak directly to and confront the viewer’s childhood memories that have since been rationalized and sugarcoated into child “norms” that project innocence on to play where it never really existed.
They should not be seen as future socio-paths or miscreants, but as exaggerated personifications of our once-selves. The confrontational images call the viewer to question an adult tendency to discard certain memories in an attempt to rationalize our actions as children into innocent play. It is virtue by omission. The stories reveal the necessary, but complicated way most of us search for adulthood. This was my experience and what my prints are based on: the messy, secretive and shameful truths that make up our childhoods.