Linda Burke’s Artist Statement

Points of Impact Exhibit

What began as a lark, a tremor of the trigger finger during an afternoon at a firing range, turned into a series of works that, unconsciously at first, followed the pathways of personal narrative.  Initially the magnetism of these pierced human targets wasn’t all that clear to me, except for the fact that I was affected by the unexpected gravity I felt using a gun for the first time and for the beauty of the targets themselves. Eerily human and carefully concentric, the rings and brilliant red bull’s eye within the target’s field of black and ocher, provided a structured backdrop for the random tattoos the bullet holes left.  The holes, whimsical and painful, ripped through the tender paper and curiously upset the sedate symmetry of the target.

This dichotomy of beauty and violence compelled me to draw out the human qualities in the targets.  I layered refined and elegant drawings, like those of Leonardo da Vinci, within the human silhouette and incorporated the dark, raw, and ragged bullet holes into the design.  It became apparent to me that those marks told the story of individual moments, points of impact or wounds if you will, that we gather all our lives and wear over our hearts as badges of experience.  My imagery evolved as I began to work through my own story.

I explored the relationship between the shooter and the target, as well.  When seen as a group, these targets form a silent chorus who bear witness to our humanity.  Their ghostly presence challenges us, silently beseeching.  Whether the viewer sees themselves as the catalyst or the wounded, an unbreakable connection is established between the finger that pulls the trigger and that of the heart, confined within those concentric circles.  These bonds carry great power and potential.  Their strength can become the guide wire for stepping deliberately through this life.

Points of Impact
I wish to live deliberately.
I am the one that holds the gun.
I am the one with the target placed securely over my heart.

January 2012