Bonnard in January

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This paper was written as an experimental short story in response to Dr Louise Wallace’s article on Pierre Bonnard’s relationship with his wife Marthe, published in the Journal of Contemporary Painting, Volume 4/ Issue 2.,id=25710/
Falling within my research interests of painting, narrative theory and historiography, the paper sought to make free association narrative connections between Dr Wallace’s
scholarly article, Pierre Bonnard’s ‘Correspondances’ collaboration with the French-Greek publisher Tériade in 1944, a personal visit made to Le Cannet (where Bonnard worked during his later career in the South of France) in July 2017, and the catalogue of the exhibition of his work at The Royal Academy of Arts in London held in 1966.
‘Correspondances’ was Bonnard’s attempt at combining image and text- namely his own drawings used to illustrate his own ‘imagined’ letters, drawn and written as a response to his own childhood memories. My interest in this publication connects to my solo exhibition at The MAC, Belfast, in June 2017, which was similarly attendant to ideas of slippage in the narration of fact, fiction, autobiography and memory.
My trip to the Musée Bonnard at Le Cannet in July 2017, along with a futile attempt to
visit Bonnard’s studio house ‘Le Bosquet’ nearby and the co-incidental finding of the Royal Academy 1966 exhibition catalogue in a second-hand bookshop in Canterbury shortly afterwards, were the initial catalysts to the writing of the short story ‘Bonnard in January’. The final version of the story was developed in response to Dr Wallace’s scholarly article ‘Who Killed Marthe Bonnard? Madness, morbidity and Pierre Bonnard’s The Bath’. The story is intended to be a spoken piece, and was narrated for me by a young painting graduate Kimberley Rheines, who has family connections to England. As the story’s protagonists might be presumed to be English, this was intended to give the reading a more authentic voice for those who attended its reading at the symposium.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 26 Jun 2018
EventPeripheral Vision- Responding to the Work of Pierre Bonnard - The Metropolitan Arts Centre, The Works conference room, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Duration: 26 Jun 201826 Jun 2018


ConferencePeripheral Vision- Responding to the Work of Pierre Bonnard
Country/TerritoryNorthern Ireland
Internet address


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