The starting point for my work is often a single word inspired by a story, conversation or memory; ‘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; communities, groups, peers, and strangers, to participate or share their emotions and stories 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; the storytelling and the memories I uncover which might lead me to useful outcomes, discoveries that can be used within my work, be they practical, material, physical or emotional and stories letting myself free and challenging myself.
My most recent work comes to exist via performance, research, collaboration and discussion, and in its outcomes uses installation to express and show the discoveries I am making, usually in a site-specific space, the space that influenced the work from the first momentt. 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 and communities 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, our sense of place, our societies 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 or even just the making. It is not always necessary to know every emotional, and social, nuance that I has been 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, of us, the group, 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? At the very least I hope to make something for the audience, viewer and paticipants to talk aboutand engage with.
All words, images, sounds and video are copyright Frankie Burr 2014 © All Rights Reserved