Published April 2013 http://airarts.net/2013/04/11/evolve-artist-review-fi-burke/ "Fi’s charming series of photographs in the exhibition feels right at home in the hospital corridors. Stuffed toy subjects Larry, Pooh, Wellington and friends appear in simple sitting portraits tumbling along the corridor from frame to frame. Their positions strongly refer to actions within play; Ellie Phant leans on her side as if discarded after a busy afternoon playing in the garden, while tired Andy wearily props himself up with his right arm after being tossed on the carpet. Short, narratives for each character are paired with their portraits giving you a small insight into their worlds.
“Ellie Phant is ever present, small in stature and ego but big on memory and personality. She used to join us in bed on a Sunday morning and we all listened to Peter Rabbit stories.”
Viewing the exhibition you aquaint yourself with each character and perhaps make up your own stories, forming unconscious connections with Andy and his Friends. The memories you had with your own toys start to reappear, warming you as you rekindle relationships with your own Andy, Bunny or Drowsy. The photos are uplifting and comforting, you can see that Fi wants to have fun yet still connect and encourage the viewer and their interpretations.
When I interviewed Fi for this article, it was the first time we’d met, but it felt like I’d known her for years. I understood her and connected to her inspirations and thoughts quickly. I also met Andy, Fi’s inspiration and starting point for the series. I mention that my Mum had a bear when she was little, very similar to Andy, and how he was passed on to me when I was young. Fi lights up; this is her buzz, this is what drives the project; new stories and new friends. Writing this now, it becomes obvious why I felt such a natural connection to Fi, her work allows for these comforting relationships to form and create long lost reflections. The characters capture the viewer in so many ways, triggering memories and allowing stories to be shared. The energy created not only validates the work but encourages continuing conversations and developments for the artist, viewer and project".