Approved: 16.08.2006

Trevor Burgess

Artist, Consultant, Curator, Project manager

Approved: 16.08.2006

“And a thing is not seen because it is visible – on the contrary it is visible because it is seen.” Plato, Euthyphro.

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      Artist Statement

      “And a thing is not seen because it is visible – on the contrary it is visible because it is seen.” Plato, Euthyphro.


      Painting, which is profoundly and ultimately about seeing, can make things visible.

      I make paintings inspired by people's everyday lives in the urban space of cities.

      The paintings arise out of my own visual experience.

      They have an international dimension of travel and migration.

      I am interested in the social use of public spaces. I think of the street as a place where people display themselves, engaged in what Jonathan Raban in his book Soft City called “the hazardous but necessary urban art of self-projection”.

      The paintings could be said to bring an intimist sensibility to the depiction of public space.

      I am not seeking to discover or expose elements of life that are extra-ordinary or remarkable. On the contrary I want to reveal the beauty of what is ordinary and everyday, to oppose a tendency of images in all media to sensationalise or glamorize.

      I try to respect the people in the paintings and imaginatively inhabit their lives.

      In the present political climate, the paintings are each an act of resistance.

      I generally use my own snapshot photos as source for paintings and reflect on these in the studio to find which ones have paintings in them.

      In all painting, there is a gap somewhere between what is depicted and how it’s depicted. I am fascinated by this gap.

      I usually paint on the floor or on a table for small paintings, horizontally, with a liquid paint.

      There is no preliminary drawing. The photograph does the drawing for me and leaves me free to let the paint do the work.

      When I paint I try to respond to what happens in the painting, as much as I try to control the paint.


      Painting in series

      I often make paintings in series, devoted to a theme or place or subject, which re-enforce each other and add up to more than the individual images, when shown together as a group.

      Making a series gives me a run at it rather than thinking that there’s one painting that has to have it all in it. It’s a real stimulus when I have a show ahead of me, to think I can make a whole set of work that will all somehow speak and come together and work together.

      Inverse paintings. As a response to  Brexit, I began making paintings in inverse colours. It began as a rejection of political lies by exposing what it looks like to assert that something is the opposite of what it is. The implications of inverse colour go far beyond the specific political situation in Britain today. It is a new path I am only just beginning to explore.

      Stacks and Wrap-ups A series of large-scale paintings of objects and assemblages encountered behind the scenes and after hours in markets. These objects recall sculptural conventions of wrapped objects, arte povera, installation art, minimalism and the found object. The paintings seek to retain the poetic potency of these aesthetic manifestations whilst returning them to their sources in ordinary life.

      The Market Paintings are an ongoing series of paintings of markets around the world, drawing on experience of travelling in Latin America, Europe and India.

      In Deptford. Since moving to Deptford, South East London, in 2007, I have made paintings of the local area. A selection of these pictures were brought together in an exhibition "In Deptford" at Deptford Does Art on Deptford High Street in 2018.

      A Place to Live is a series of over 60 paintings of homes in London, inspired by Estate Agent property adverts.

      Granary Square. In 2015 I undertook a private commission for for a triptych painting of Granary Square, the main public space at the new King's Cross development in London, which generated a series of studies and related drawings and paintings.

      Urban people Since arriving in London at the turn of the century I have been making paintings of my immediate surroundings – streets, markets and public places. I set out in these pictures to paint people going about their ordinary lives in the city.

      Wholesale Fruit and Vegetables. "Wholesale" was a site-specific exhibition which I took part in in Norwich in 1996 in a disused warehouse which had previously been occupied by a fruit and vegetable wholesalers. I filled what had been the cold-store with a series of 18 panels depicting fruit and vegetables



      I also curate exhibitions. My interest is as an artist-curator, exploring the practice of painters whose work shares concerns with my own.

      In The Heart of the Place is a collaboration with artist Madi Acharya-Baskerville, through which we explore our mutual interest in making images that are imbued with lived experience of places in the world, to be shown at the Crypt Gallery, Norwich School in June/July 2020.  

      This instead of That, co-curated with artist Alexandra Baraitser at ArtHouse1, London in 2019, explored how artists respond to each others' work.  

      Inner and Outer Worlds was co-curated with artist Marguerite Horner at Bermondsey Project Space, London in 2018.

      IN THE CITY began at Lion and Lamb Gallery London, in 2014 as an exhibition of painters whose work reflects aspects of the contemporary city on four continents, and toured to East Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts and University of Greenwich Galleries in 2018.




      CV & Education

      Solo & two person exhibitions

      2020 - In the Heart of The Place, (with Madi Acharya-Baskerville), Crypt Gallery, Norwich School 

      2019 - Urban People, DMH Stallard, London

      2018 - In Deptford, Deptford Does Art, London

      2016 - The Market Paintings, Menier Gallery, London

      2014 - A Place to Live, Peacock Gallery, Reading

      2014 - Life in the City, Freespace and New Space Galleries, London

      2012 - A Place to Live, Dreamspace Gallery, London

      2011 - A Place to Live, Paul McPherson Gallery, Greenwich, London

      2007 - Casa de Cultura, El Campello, Alicante, Spain

      2007 - Liceo de San Juan, San Juan, Alicante, Spain

      2007 - Sala de Exposiciones, Villa de Blanca, , Blanca, Murcia, Spain

      2005 - Wigs and Chips, Tara Bryan Gallery, London

      1999 - Els Castellers, Galeria Groc, Barcelona, Spain and touring in Catalunya

      1999 - Galerie Daniel Wahrenburger, Zurich, Switzerland

      1996 - Family Snaps, King's Lynn Arts Centre, King's Lynn, UK

      1992 - Chappel Galleries, Colchester, UK

      Group exhibitions

      2020 - The Art of Painting, Copeland Project Space, London

      2019 - Creekside Open (selected by Sacha Craddock), APT Gallery, London

      2019 - Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize,  Mall Galleries, London

      2019 - This Instead of That (co-curated with Alexandra Baraitser),  ArtHouse1, London

      2018 - This Instead of That (curated by Alexandra Baraitser), Lewisham Art House, London

      2018 - Tetris Hang (curated by Simon Haddock), Family.Housespace, London

      2018 - In The City (curated by Trevor Burgess), East Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts & Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich

      2018 - Inner and Outer Worlds (co-curated with Marguerite Horner), Bermondsey Project Space, London

      2017 -  XIV Encounter of Artists, Espacio El Dorado, Fondacion Amelia Moreno, Quintenar, Spain

      2016 - Beauty in the Everyday, Cavaliero Finn, London

      2016 - The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

      2016 - Dulwich Festival, Cavaliero Finn, London

      2016 - Works on Paper,  Lovely Gallery, London

      2016 - Jane Newbery Gallery,  London

      2015 - Life Between Buildings, Spinach, London

      2015 - A London Painters Survey 2015, Artists Project Space, London

      2015 - Summer Salon, Angus-Hughes Gallery, London

      2015 - The Exhibit, Balham, London

      2015 - Open CueB 2015, CueB Gallery, London

      2014 - The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

      2014 - In the City, Lion and Lamb, London

      2014- Open House, Cavaliero Finn, London

      2013 - The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

      2013-15 - Developing Artists, Devonshires, London

      2013 - Open cueB 2013, cueB Gallery, London

      2012 - Affordable Art Fair, Cavaliero Finn, Battersea, London

      2012 - Open House, Cavaliero Finn, London

      2012 - Winter Show, Cavaliero Finn, London

      2011 - Group Exhibition, StArt Space, London

      2011 - The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London, Prizewinner

      2011 - The London Group, The Cello Factory , Waterloo, London

      2010 - Captured, Catmose Arts Gallery, Oakham, Rutland,

      2010 - Open House, Cavaliero Finn, London

      2010 - Open Studios Guest Artist, APT Studios, Deptford, London

      2009 - Ars Artis Gratia, Rivington Gallery, London

      2009 - Creekside Open 2009, APT Gallery, Deptford, London

      2006 - Chocolate Factory Open Studios, Chocolate Factory, Wood Green, London

      2006 - The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

      2005 - Group exhibition, Galerie Daniel Wahrenberger, Zurich, Switzerland

      2003 - Open Studios Guest Artist, Chocolate Factory, London

      2002 - Open Studios, Guest Artist, Chocolate Factory, London

      2001 - 7 Painters and 1 Self, The Dockroom, London

      1998 - Centro Can Felipa, Barcelona, Spain

      1998 - Cheltenham Drawing Exhibition, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Art and tour to Hull, UK and Berlin, Germany

      1998 - Galerie Daniel Wahrenburger, Zurich, Switzerland

      1997 - New Visions, Broad Horizons, Beatrice Royal Gallery, Eastleigh

      1997- Artbook, London

      1996 - Kettles Yard Open, Kettles Yard, Cambridge

      1996 - Private Views, works from Norfolk collections selected by John Kiki, Contact Gallery, Norwich

      1996 - Sofia 96 Triennial International Exhibition of painting, Art Gallery of the Union of Bulgarian Artists, Sofia, Bulgaria

      1996 - Wholesale site specific art project, Norwich

      1995 - Eastern Open, King's Lynn Arts Centre

      1995 - The way we live now, Gardener Arts Centre, Brighton

      1994 - Andrew Usiskin Contemporary Art, London

      1994 - Rexel Derwent Drawing Competition, Cheltenham and Gloucester School of Art

      1993 - Castle Art Show, Castle Museum, Norwich

      1993 - Unicorn Pictures, London

      1990 - Eastern Open, King's Lynn Arts Centre

      1988 - Constable Landscape Competition, Camden Arts Centre, London

      1988 - Eastern Open, King's Lynn Arts Centre


      2015 - Private commission for triptych painting of Granary Square, London

      Competitions, prizes and awards

      2011 - Regional Artists Prize, South East, The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

      2006 - Creative Growth Award, Cultural Industries Development Agency (CIDA), London

      1997 - Oppenheim John Downes Memorial Award

      1996 - Artists Development Grant, Eastern Arts Board, Cambridge