Claire Burke

St Giles Street Gallery, Norwich

> St Giles Street Gallery, Norwich

Claire Burke's recent body of work skilfully demonstrates the art of retrieval.

Having built up marks on the canvas, she then uses a range of processes to excavate the surface.

With purposeful laying down of acrylics and oils followed by exposure to a range of chemicals and considered paring away of the paint with a palette knife, Burke unearths the most interesting marks.


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The pieces, although abstract, are influenced by the space and light of Burke's Cornish homeland, possessing names such as Megy dowr (misty hill).

The white internal space of this mixed-media painting is breached with dark vertical lines; these introduce a rhythmic quality, but also act as barriers preventing the viewer from becoming too immersed in the pale surface expanse and intangible, hazy shapes.

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Burke believes her format of positioning each of the large pieces within its own painted framing device is essential, allowing her to maintain overall control of the appearance of the work while enabling chance effects to occur.

In direct contrast to the white canvases, Burke has created some dark, broody pieces. The velvety black surface of Dowr, m dowrow is a powerful vehicle for an enigmatic misty presence within the composition that effuses a slightly menacing light.

As an investigative precursor to inform the larger pieces, Burke uses photographic paper in Series 3 mixed- media drawings.

These preparatory works, while experimental, are no less important in my opinion.

t The exhibition continues until October 27. Further details at www.sgsgallery.com

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