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My work, both past and present, is underpinned by the central themes of absence, isolation, mortality and the spiritual. It is the balance between paint, process and subject matter that has maintained my visual language and its development through what on the surface may seem to have been differing themes. I am grappling with the concept of haecceity, inscape, thing-ness, essence and the ontological in the way I see a stone, rock-pool or lichen growth. The challenge is then using paint and charcoal to communicate this experience to the viewer as well as incorporating my own refractions of self, identity and awareness of mortality and the spiritual.

- Brendan Burns

Brendan Burns’ residency at Earthskin, Piha, has had to come to an early close in order for the artist to return to the UK. His exhibition at ARTIS Gallery has been postponed to early 2021. We look forward to welcoming Brendan back to New Zealand and to exhibiting the body of work he created during his residency at Piha.

My whole New Zealand experience was so special, I cannot wait to return. I am so pleased that the paintings came out honestly and with genuine feeling.” – Brendan Burns

UK based artist, Brendan Burns, works within a tradition of British artists inspired by elemental landscape. Burns is deeply concerned with the spiritual in nature, with notions of time and with the act of painting as meditative process. These ideas are central in the artist’s practice and have played a fundamental part in his recent New Zealand residency. 

For Burns the language of seeing the world involves the physical act of walking. This translation into paint is critical in his work. Time walking and absorbing the immediate area of Waitakere, Karekare, Bethells Beach, Muriwai and Kitekite greatly influenced the artist’s perception of light and colour. Initial paintings were the joyous celebration of light penetrating the Pohutukawa trees and reflections of more tropical species such as the Nikau Palms in the Kitekite stream near his studio in Piha. 

Brendan Burns in his studio at Earthskin, Piha, New Zealand

Brendan Stuart Burns was born in 1963; he currently lives and works in Cardiff. He studied Fine Art at Cardiff College of Art (1981 – 1985), and undertook a postgraduate in painting at The Slade School of Art, University College London (1985 – 1987). He won the Gold Medal in Fine Art at The National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1993 and 1998, and Welsh Artist of the Year in 2000 and 2003.

Burns has exhibited both Nationally and Internationally, including America, France, Belgium, Australia and Spain. His one-person exhibitions include Flow & Pulse, Rosenberg & Co, New York (2016), Gesture | Glimpse | Memory, Osborne Samuel Gallery, London, (2015); Influere, Oriel Y Parc – Landscape Gallery, St. Davids, Tidal, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, (2005), Not the Stillness…, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Oriel Clwyd and Newport Museum & Art Gallery (2002), As well as Being… National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Turner House Gallery, Cardiff (1999).

He has shown widely in group exhibitions, including Recent Paintings, Osborne Samuel Gallery London 2019; Recent Paintings, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, 2018; The Armory Modern, New York, Osborne Samuel Gallery and Rosenberg & Co, (2016 & 2015); Masterpiece, Osborne Samuel (2015/16/17/18), Art Miami, Osborne Samuel (2014/15/16/18); 4 Contemporary Artists, Osborne Samuel Gallery London (2014); Masterpieces of Modern British Art’, Osborne Samuel Gallery London (2008); Refractions / Shadows 7 Artists curated by Mel Gooding, Lemon St Gallery Truro (2008); Vll Xuntanza Obradoiro Internacional das Artes Plasticas, Museo Municipal ‘Ramon Maria Allen, Spain (2004); Places, National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Cardiff (2003); West Wales Arts Centre, Fishguard (2003); Gordon Hepworth Gallery, Affordable Art Fair New York (2003); Painting Ysbryd / Spirit Wales, Festival Interceltique de L’Orient, France; National Eisteddfod of Wales, St Davids (2002); Different Lights, UKwithNY Festival, Angel Orensanz Arts Centre, New York (2001); Welsh Artists Talking, National Museum & Galleries of Wales, Cardiff (2000).

His work is held in numerous private and public collections including The National Museum & Galleries of Wales, The Derek Williams Trust, The Contemporary Art Society of Wales, A Fundacion Casa Museo ‘A Solaina’ de Pilono, Spain and Contemporary Art Society of Britain (Tom Bendhem Bequest), America, Australia, China, Holland, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Mexico, Switzerland, Taiwan and The United Arab Emirates.

Burns completed his PhD Shadow into Parent Light: Beyond Pembrokeshire, beyond Landscape in 2011. Publications include Glimpse including essays by Mel Gooding, Tony Curtis, Sally Moss and Anne Price-Owen; 2012. Into Painting by David Alston and Mel Gooding published by Seren in 2008.

Brendan Burns will exhibit a new body of work at ARTIS Gallery in 2021. For more information, please contact the Gallery.


SOLO EXHIBITIONS AT ARTIS

UPCOMING · 7 – 26 April 2020, ARTIS Gallery

Flow & Pulse, Rosenberg & Co, New York.
Blouin Art. Flow & Pulse, by Archana Khare-Ghose. Rosenberg & Co.
Artsy. Flow & Pulse, by Karen Kedmey. Rosenberg & Co.
Ooze, New Ceramic sculptures written by Daniel Allen.
Film by Charlotte Metcalf for Osborne Samuel Gallery, London.
Gesture | Glimpse | Memory. Osborne Samuel Gallery, London.
Glimpse Foreword by Mel Gooding, published by Retreats Group.
Refractions / Shadows: 7 Artists by Mel Gooding.
Into Painting: The work of Brendan Stuart Burns, 1987-2007. Written by David Alston and Mel Gooding. Published by Seren.
Ysbryd – Spirit Painting Wales, by Norbert Lynton.
Certain Welsh Artists, by Iwan Bala. Published by Seren.
Welsh Artists Talking, interviews by Tony Curtis, published by Seren.
Not the Stillness…, by Dr Peter Wakelin.
Imaging Wales, Contemporary Art in Context, written by Hugh Adams, published by Seren.
Here and Now, essays written by Iwan Bala, published by Seren.
Farode Vigo, Feature – Vll Xuntanza Obradoiro Internacional das Artes Plasticas, A Solaina
Pilono, Galicia, Spain.
Imaging the Imagined, Published by Gomer Press.
Mail on Sunday, YOU Magazine, Written by Brian Sewell.
Public And Private Collections
National Museum and Galleries of Wales.
National Museum and Galleries of Wales, (Derek Williams Collection.)
A Fundacion Casa Museo “A Solaina” de Pilono, Galicia, Spain.
Contemporary Art Society of Wales.
Contemporary Art Society of Britain (Tom Bendhem Bequest).
University of South Wales.
Owen Taylor, Gallery of Modern and Contemporary British Art, Warwick.
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
Associated Newspapers for Museums Collection.
Leicestershire Education Authority.
Wyn Thomas Gordon Lewis Architects, Cardiff.
South Glamorgan County Council Collection.
Oriel y Parc, St Davids, National Museum Wales & National Parks Authority.
Celtic Manor Hotel & Conference Centre, Newport.
Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Wales.
St German’s Church and Rectory, Cardiff.
Private Collections Australia, China, Dubai, Holland, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Mexico, Monaco, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and The United Arab Emirates and the USA.


Education
2011 – PhD, Shadow into Parent Light; Beyond Pembrokeshire, Beyond Landscape.
1987 – Postgraduate Painting, Slade School of Art, University College London.
1985 – First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art, UWIC, Cardiff.
1982 – Foundation Studies, UWIC, Cardiff.
Awards
2014 – Creative Wales Arts Council Major Award to research new materials including ceramics and glass at the National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland.
2008-09 – First Artist in Residence, Oriel y Parc, Landscape Gallery, St Davids.
2007 – The Richard and Rosemary Wakelin Purchase Award, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea.
2005 – Innovation Award, The Big Draw, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown.
Wales Arts International Funding travel award, Venice Biennale.
2004 – Wales Arts International to participate in VII Xuntanza Obradoiro Internacional das Plasticas, A Solaina Pilono, Galicia, Spain.
2003 – Welsh Artist of the Year.
2001 – Arts Council of Wales grant to participate in ‘Different Lights, UKwithNY, Angel Orensanz Arts Centre, New York.
2000 – Welsh Artist of the Year.
1999 – University of Glamorgan Purchase Prize.
1998 – Gold Medal in Fine Art, National Eisteddfod of Wales, Bro Ogwr, Bridgend.
1997 – Friedrich Konekamp award for painting.
1993 – Gold Medal in Fine Art, National Eisteddfod of Wales, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells.
1992 – Welsh Arts Council Travel Scholarship, New York, USA.
1991 – Artist in Residence Llanfrechfa Grange Mental Health Unit, Cwmbran.
1989 – Welsh Arts Council Travel Scholorship, Florence, Italy.

Exhibitions

2018 – Recent Paintings, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh. In collaboration with
Osborne Samuel Gallery, London.
2016 – Flow & Pulse, Painting, drawing and ceramic, Rosenberg & Co.
New York.
Ooze, New Ceramics, Craft in the Bay, Cardiff.
2015 – Gesture | Glimpse | Memory, Osborne Samuel Gallery, London.
2014 – Pulse, Oriel Myldan, Cardigan.
2012 – Glimpse, St Davids Hall, Cardiff.
Glimpse, National Botanical Gardens of Wales, Carmarthenshire.
2011 – Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff.
One-man show, Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey.
Shimmer, Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen.
2009-10 – Influere, Oriel y Parc, Landscape Gallery St Davids. Curation of works from the residence alongside significant inspiration from the collections at National Museum of Art Wales.
2009 – Tidal, Oriel Clwyd, Mold.
New works, Atrium, University of South Wales Cardiff.
2008 – Oriel Q Gallery Narberth.
Tidal, Kettering Museum & Art Gallery, Kettering.
Liquid Light Series, Cynon Valley Museum & Art Gallery.
In View, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. Works selected by David Alston from the National Museum of Art Wales permanent collection.
2007 – New Works, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Cwmbran.
2006 – Spindrift, Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff.
2005 – Tidal, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown.
The Taste of Sight, Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff.
2004 – Price Waterhouse Coopers, Cardiff.
2003 – Not the Stillness…, Newport Museum and Art Gallery.
Not the Stillness…, Oriel Clwyd, Mold.
Not the Stillness…, selected works, Rhondda Heritage Park.
Not the Stillness…, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
1999 – Museum of Modern Art Wales, Mychynlleth.
As Well as being…, National Museum of Art Wales, Turner House Gallery.
1995 – Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells.
1992 – Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Cwmbran.
1991 – The Florentine Experience, The Powerhouse Gallery, Laugharne.

Residency
Artist in Residence at Earthskin, Piha New Zealand Feb – March 2020

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