Dannell Powell – Artist Statement
Self taught outsider artist, Dannell Powell works in digital art, oil paints, and assemblage. Digitally working with photographs and photo-collage, she developed The Mannequin Chronicle--a series of coffee table books.
I spent 32 years as a private investigator, much of which was on surveillance.
The Mannequin Chronicles began accidentally. In the course of life I came across a mannequin. (Well, you never know when you might need one.) I then came across a head. (Already having a mannequin, why not acquire the head?) In the natural progression of things, I put them in my car and began photographing. To the delight of family and friends, I brought them on outings. Being a bit obsessed, I eventually acquired more mannequins and took them on little adventures. (The family was quite pleased to assist.) Many outings, adventures, and photographs later, The Mannequin Chronicles emerged. As the Chronicles and characters developed, I began telling some of my own story through the character of Bert Strong, P.I. You see, I spent 32 years as a private investigator, much of which was on surveillance. I found myself on surveillance for many long hours, without a great deal to occupy my mind as I waited for life and activity to unfold. In the Bert Strong series The Mannequin Chronicles is taken in a new direction exploring the darker side of San Francisco. In the quiet hours of surveillance I wrote my stories, some of which became Bert Strong's stories as Bert sleuths through the streets of San Francisco and beyond.... Bert's stories and The Mannequin Chronicles are set primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have used the San Francisco area as my photographic canvas and my character’s playground, much as Hitchcock turned it into a backdrop for mystery and imagination. My books are also art books, part novel and part travel guide, with a fair smattering of humor. There is excitement, mystery, fashion, and a cast of mannequins. www.mannequinchronicles.com