I Was There, I Forget The Rest

Nicole Young

Nicole Young

Nicole Young’s series, I Was There, I Forget The Rest, is a collection of works that consider our current relationships with memory and nostalgia. In a digital world where we no longer need to retain memories in our minds because we carry them around in our pockets, there is less necessity for us to turn inward to recall something. As we rely more and more on the outside world to hold information for us, can our recollections still be considered reliable?

Each piece in the series documents a place that’s significant to the artist; somewhere they’ve lived, somewhere they’ve visited, the homes away from home and the places that no longer feel like home. In revisiting each of these places, the artist is compelled to investigate which depictions feel accurate, which ones could be imagination, and which ones are likely based on false memories. The abstract nature of the work allows the viewer to ascribe their own memory to the pieces, adding another layer of inaccuracy. The exhibition examines how memory shifts based on the way our feelings change over time, and whether or not anyone can be an accurate narrator, even of their own lives.

The title of the exhibition is inspired by a Tumblr quote “We were together – I forget the rest,” which has been misremembered, and misattributed to Walt Whitman. Whitman’s actual quote is “Day by day and night by night we were together,—All else has long been forgotten by me;”


botanical ink and acrylic on canvas with sewn textiles


Nicole Young is a visual artist and art consultant based on the traditional, unceded and occupied territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Wautuh First Nations (Vancouver, BC.) Working in the confluence of environmentalism, material exploration, and storytelling, Nicole’s works are as much science experiments as they are conversations on ways to approach climate justice. She creates her own pigments and dyes out of natural materials including plant matter and minerals as a way to deepen her connection with the natural world, and to create a dialogue about waste-free practices. Moving seamlessly between large-scale textile installations, works on canvas, garments, and graceful drawings, Nicole’s works blend traditional approaches to textile art with gestural, painterly characteristics.

Born in Ontario, Nicole attended the University of British Columbia Okanagan where she received a BFA in Visual Arts and Art History, and studied studio arts and art history at the University of California Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and abroad since 2010, and her paintings are in private collections throughout the globe.

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THIS Gallery acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

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