Nancy Toomey Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Claire Burbridge entitled Night Garden on view from August 19 to September 29, 2017. The gallery is located inside San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street. The public is invited to the artist reception on Saturday, September 9, from 4pm to 6pm.
In 2010, Claire Burbridge returned to drawing after many years of sculptural enquiry. Drawing was her primary medium in the Ruskin School of Fine Art at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Starting with observational sketches that evolved into larger scale works, she selects the natural world as her subject as she lives surrounded by nature in Southern Oregon. Observed at close range, it contains many strange, fascinating, and abstract forms. Her works aim to draw attention to the mysteries of the physical world.
Wishing to convey Burbridge’s understanding of the underlying balance and cycles of undisturbed natural ecosystems, she has employed the pictorial device of interlocking circles drawn beneath the forms. This conveys a sense of cohesion, and alludes to the invisible intelligent matrix that enables the seeming chaos of nature to be held in perfect balance; birth, death, and rebirth all occurring at the same time. This also imparts a formal quality to the drawings.
Burbridge works mainly in pen and ink, as this forces a decisive approach and commitment to problem solving once the ink is down on the paper, although some works are in pencil. The marks are primarily made up of lines and pointillism, and this seems fitting to the artist as our physical world is made up of waves and particles, whether animate or inanimate.
Burbridge says, “Each drawing is a natural evolution from the last. I work for about a year immersed in a particular subject, watching it evolve through the seasons. Although I learn a lot about the subjects of my drawings, the facts are not a dominant feature. These are not strictly botanical illustrations. Through the handling and observing of the forms, information reveals itself to me in wordless fashion. My studio is now home to many dried fungi, lichens, dead insects and bits of trees. These all fascinate me as they continue to change through the process of decay. I am particularly interested in small forms, like mushrooms, because they exemplify the multiplicity and complexity of nature; hidden, as they are, beneath the earth for most of the year. I strive to depict a vibrant universe, one that speaks of forms decaying, from which new organisms emerge.”