Exhibitions, Events and Performances
2015 – on-going
Lady Grange and I
(performance / site specific / events / solo exhibition / tour)
Lines of Constraint (Hard Lines)
(group exhibition / site specific), as part of the Mull of Kintyre Festival 2016
Circus Between Worlds
Trapunzel (It’s Not All Over Till The Fat Lady Swings)
(performance / site specific / group exhibition / event) by Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich and commissioned for GI 2016.
7 November 2014
The Art Lending Library by Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich
(performance / group exhibition / event) commissioned my Market Gallery Glasgow for GI 2012. Performance as part of The Art Lending Library’s National Touring Parade 2014 / 15, East Durham, England
1 - 6 October 2014
Letter in Mind
It Is I (text)
(group exhibition), Oxo Tower, London
4 - 13 September 2014
(collaboration with Rhona Taylor) Forth Bridges Festival, part of Homecoming Scotland 2014,
Port Edgar, South Queensferry
31 July – 31 August 2014
Number Crunching, Charlotte Squared
Thomas Muir Helpdesk by Roderick Buchanan
(collaborative work with Roderick Buchanan) part of Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh
International Book Festival, Edinburgh
8 – 17 April 2014
Confessional Art / Art Confessions
(group exhibition) in conjunction with ARTIST ROOMS, University of Edinburgh, TATE and the
Scottish National Galleries
29 March 2014
Solitary (Harry Burr)
(group exhibition / event), Cultybraggan 2nd WW PoW Camp, Perthshire
March – May 2014
Adopt an Artist
(group exhibition) National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
Performance, Arches Live, Glasgow
New Graduate Exchange
The Invigilator by Romany Dear
Performance, (group exhibition), Market Gallery, Glasgow
(group exhibition), Six Foot Gallery, Glasgow
Broken (Walking on Eggshells)
Broken (Public v Private Face)
(group exhibition), Six Foot Gallery, Glasgow
(group exhibition) 2010 Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, Casablanca Arts, Glasgow
4 - 13 September 2014
(with Rhona Taylor) Forth Bridges Festival, part of Homecoming Scotland 2014, Port Edgar, South Queensferry
February – March 2014
Adopt an Artist
(South Queensferry High) South Queensferry, West Lothian
National Galleries of Scotland, Edninburgh
2013 - 2014
Thomas Muir Helpdesk / Charlotte Squared / helpfindmyneighbour.com
(with Roderick Buchanan) part of Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh
Scottish Artists Union
Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh
Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow
University College Falmouth, Cornwall (UAL)
The British Institute, Florence, Italy
The starting point for my work is often a single word, ‘step’, ‘broken’, ‘spiral’, ‘confession’... I explore emotion within a specific space, starting from my own emotion and personal space and sometimes asking others that I might encounter, either anonymously or in every day life, to participate or share their emotions with me; the private shown in a public forum. Perhaps this continues when the work is viewed? That response, in that moment, may have nothing to do with the original emotions from which the work emerged, that enabled the work to be made, and that are contained within the work, but they may well be more interesting because of that.
I do not feel the need to stay within the structure of one genre, but my work falls between what might be seen as traditional forms of art and expression. I am not a painter but I work with surface and texture, I am not a sculpture but I work with scale and form, I am not an actor but physicality can direct my work, I am not a writer but text and emotion are important in all I do, I am not a musician but sound and beauty influence all aspects of what I make. I experiment and get excited with the processes and investigations which might lead me to useful outcomes, discoveries that can be used within my work, be they practical, material, physical or emotional, letting myself free and challenging myself.
My most recent work comes to exist via performance and research, and in its outcome uses installation to express and show the discoveries I am making. I like to give the viewer or participant an opportunity to get in amongst the piece, to find another atmosphere or space within what might be expected or imagined for the space the work inhabits. To experience illusions, perhaps aurally, as well as visually within the space. To make an evocative space which sits somewhere between the private and the public, mirroring the processes that I use to express and interpret the emotions used to make the work.
I am intrigued by the endless volatility of meaning and understanding, how our emotions dictate our behaviour and decisions, and ultimately how we interpret and read the things we see. How we, as individuals with different paths and ontology’s, find ourselves influenced by our surroundings and emotions, making the same mistakes as those who have gone before, physically, intellectually and emotionally, and yet often not able to break the cycle. The never-ending frailty of the human condition is always interesting.
My aim is to continue learning, experimenting and collaborating in the hope of producing work that is interesting, challenging, questioning and somehow beautiful. I do believe that art can be enjoyed as much for its aesthetic as for it’s intelligence, and that sometimes it’s ok for the viewer or participant to appreciate and understand the enjoyment in just that, the aesthetic. It is not always necessary to know every emotional nuance that I have invested and how that can affect the making of the work, but more important to be involved in it.
I believe art is about truth seeking and that if there is a value in the work I make it is that, whatever form it might take, I am trying to represent honesty, emotion and truth. Of course, ego will come into it... There will always be an element of me, the individual, in what I have made, so the honesty, emotion or truth is unlikely to be as pure as I might hope. My perceptions and contexts mean that I do not necessarily faithfully represent these goals, but maybe I am still able to provide a distorted truth?
Confessional Art / Art Confessions catalogue (April 2014)
Confessional Screens by Frankie Burr
The hexagonal cell is a veritable condensation of human emotion and complexity. The darkness provides enough room to immerse in the profundity of personal fates that the artist gathered anonymously over a period of time. Implemented in the wall, the confessions constitute the space and render the physical cell into a metaphorical (sub)consciousness. The spectator becomes a confidant and participant, thinking about what he might confess and if they may even match the ones on the screens. The concept relies on fairly recent artistic practices but also culturally evolved customs. Especially the Sacrament of Penance in Catholicism, attesting to the basic need of people to commit to others in search of relief. Nowadays, the media have become the venue for confessions of politicians and tabloid celebrities, exploiting the mass’s insatiable curiosity. In art, Frankie Burr refers to Tracy Emin, Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing and of course Louise Bourgeois who all deal with the confession as a very fundamental human practice which, at the same time, is highly individual / personal and needs to be shared. In creating this bond of cognisance, then, the question arises if people can be judged by other people at all, given the mutuality of confessing, the pervasiveness of failure, and particularly the diverging moral standards in different societies and the frequent incongruity of morals and feelings. Entering the “confessional” demands the willingness to open oneself to the lives of others and realise the attachment of our own lives to theirs. On exiting, we obtain absolution for ourselves and the confessors in recognising that absolution is not given but felt, not a trial but compassion.
Broken Cell by Frankie Burr
The permeable cell made of wooden and metal struts partly wrapped in spun wool, invite the viewer to walk into the structure and to actively ‘perform’ the work by stepping onto the eggshells that lie within. Some of the blown eggs have words written on them, seemingly concretising (via contextualising) the act of breaking the shell and the word yet transferring the concrete to the realm of the symbolic, i.e. the linguistic. The work then becomes eerily unsteady in sustaining the structure of language, its truth-value and cultural evolution. The breaking of the eggshells incites and visually expresses the reflection about the utterance of a confession itself, the cracking of the façade previously held up and revealing the difficulty to put into words what refuses to be said in the first place. With the confession done and the shells broken, something inside the confessor breaks, too: inhibitions from keeping the secret, the frontiers to our fellow human beings, the personality one thought one would have liked or dreaded to have. The confession changes our mental location, almost becoming a new point of departure but to experience this, we must first dare to betake ourselves to the sensitive area where are certain to feel the rupture.
Matthias Pfaller, Art Historian
Copyright Frankie Burr 2014 © All Rights Reserved