ABOUT

DATES

Born 1961 Bromley, Kent.

EDUCATION

1997 Trinity School of Music London, Licentiate Diploma (piano performer) with distinction.
1984 Chelsea School of Art, London MA
1983 Chelsea School of Art, London BA (1st)
1983 Awarded the Henry Moore Scholarship

SHOWS
Christie's Inaugural Exhibition, London, 1983
Liverpool International Garden Festival, 1984
27 Artists Till the Roof Falls In, group show, Art East, London. 1985
'Art Now' Eirlys Tynan Gallery, London. 1987
The Young Unknowns Gallery London, group show 1987
The Showroom London, group show 1989
City Racing London - Solo Show, 1991
New Blood Art Gallery, 2018
Royal Institute of Oil Painters Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London, 2018
Selected for Florence Biennale 2019

PUBLICATIONS
City Racing: The Life and Times of an Artist Run Gallery.
Reference photo in Tate Modern

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

Since completing an MA in sculpture at Chelsea School of Art in 1984, I have spent most of the intervening years as a classical pianist and teacher.
 
My means of expression has changed over time. At Chelsea I was working as a conceptual sculptor, creating objects with a mechanised component, for example a bicycle with a hidden motor in the back wheel, turning it endlessly to cause the illusion of a never ending moment in time shortly after an accident. Another piece I created was a telephone receiver (this was before mobile devices) with the wire cut, lying on the ground making the sound of ‘heavy breathing’. Another was a remote controlled leg of lamb...
 
Recently I have turned to painting portraits, landscapes and still life. I find portrait painting an intriguing subject which offers a glimpse into the lives of others. It also explores themes such as identity, culture, power, and ultimately today's world through human beings, its central aspect.
 
Artists whose work I admire include Alice Neel, whose portraits combine keen character observation with the fine line which can divide the abstract from the representational, the finished from the unfinished. Another artist whose work I admire is Euan Uglow, whose methodical precision lends an air of controlled passion, to use his own description. As these, and many other artists have done,  I am seeking to form a visual language derived from the action of painting, and the discovery of its unexpected possibilities.
 
To some extent I am working along the same lines as the so called Euston Road school, founded by William Coldstream, and followed by artists such as Victor Pasmore, Graham Bell and Lawrence Gowing. These artists rejected abstraction, advocating instead an 'objective abstraction', a type of realism which was more accessible to the public gaze. It seems to me that all artists are realists in some sense, presenting a reality according to them, whether it is abstract or figurative, or a blurring of the two.  As my painting develops, especially my landscapes, I find I am becoming increasingly loose and gestural, in order to convey the energy and essence of what I see before me, and an inner emotional response. There are often man made structures and electricity pylons included in the landscapes in order to give a reminder of a continual human presence. My still life work is more reminiscent of the portraits, containing the considered restraint needed to examine the subject objectively and realise elements of an abstract design.
 
As a musician as well as a visual artist (I am a classical pianist) I can see parallels between the two art forms. For me both music and visual art depend on intuitive inspiration, in other words being open to the unexpected, and always being willing to allow change. In my relatively short time as a painter I feel that I have learnt from every painting, including the disasters, and will continue to learn in the years to come.

Rosemary Burn 2018