For background on the artist and works, see below.
About the Artist
The Weathered Myriad series of Kara Burrowes are mosaic-like compositions created with small pieces of timber, often heritage wood, some charred, oiled, painted, mysterious, triggering memory and connection, with a contradiction of the random and the orderly. They have a quiet insistence, and definitely require first-hand encounter. Christchurch based, Kara Burrowes has featured in major art awards here and overseas, and we look forward to showing her work in future. She describes her inspiration and process: ‘I am an urban inspired artist, interested in objects and marks left behind in the urban environment, traces, history and overlooked intrigue. Mundane and banal, translating into fascinating and beautiful, I like to collect and transform… ‘Reclaim and reuse are integral to my work, sustainability and leaving a small footprint. Repetition and labour-intensive process are key to my work, the work and process being more important than the outcome… ‘Much of my work is intuitive, derived from unconscious thought and a willingness and impulse to experiment.’ – Kara Burrowes, 2022.
‘I am interested in the historical traces and overlooked intrigue left behind by detritus, objects and marks in the landscape. Focused on the mundane and banal, I look to translate the ordinary into fascinating and beautiful; to collect and transform. For this series, I was influenced by an area near Christchurch called Birdlings Flat; a windswept, barren coastal environment with shacks in various states of disrepair. It’s an environment I’ve returned to a lot over the years, it’s both intriguing and unsettling. These works were influenced by the wind, the way that the lace curtains in the shacks blow in the wind and the discovery of dead cactus heads that resemble lace. The intricacy of lace and other domestic materials and processes interests me. My inspiration lay with the idea of lace, wind, weather, weathering, discard, and the mundane. The wood in these works has been charred and disfigured around the lace pattern (cactus head); a defacing and scorching to represent weathering, weather and general anarchy…’ Kara Burrowes, 2022
More About the Artist
Kara Burrowes draws on her surroundings both physically and conceptually to create works with a tightly contained energy usually within a formal grid composition. The work sometimes thrusts out of the expected rectangular, or protrudes slightly from the face. The diagonally cut wood adds movement and tension within the work, the charring introducing textural contrast and perhaps a reference to the origins of the material in the organic world. Her early career as a landscape architect also feeds into the work through balance, form, counterpoint, and in the use of natural and found materials, whether heritage woods, dead flower heads, and everything from gold leaf to piano keys. Kara Burrowes has featured in national and international art awards, notably as a finalist in the Parkin Prize and Wallace Art Awards – flowing on from an early career 1995 award for Landscape Architecture. She lives and works in Christchurch.
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