Tom Burrows, Elisha Bay, polymer resin, 48 x 48 inches
THE CURVE OF TIME V
March 3 - 26, 2022
Opening First Thursday, March 3, 6 - 8 pm - Artist in Attendance
Artist Talk: Saturday March 5, 12:30 pm
The artwork included in The Curve of Time series by Tom Burrows are named after bodies of water and landmarks from the Inside Passage (Puget Sound near Seattle up to Alaska). The Curve of Time by Wylie Blanchet is inspiration for the series and it takes place in the Inside Passage. This book recounts Blanchet's summer sailing adventures with her five children and dog in the 1930s and 40s.
After realizing that many places along the Inside Passage were named for the admiralty of the explorers, Burrows decided that he could just as well name them after some of his family who have enjoyed their cabins in the British Columbia waterway for a few generations. Elisha Bay is named for his son, Elisha; the two sail together, and the piece is a rich blue. Other pieces with family names are Gina Rocks, Josh Cove and Yasmine Arm.
Burrows approaches his work with an open, intellectual thoughtfulness. His artworks embody concepts through color, exuding presence and luminosity. Each piece provides its own space for meditative encounter and reflection. The Curve of Time V was born of Burrows observations of and experiences within a familiar region he has long inhabited, but which in some ways has changed noticeably. Surrounded by the Salish Sea, Burrows spends much of the year at his island studio, where the effects of climate change are clear.
Tom Burrows, Okisollo Channel, polymer resin, 48 x 48 inches
In his artist statement, Burrows shares “Very early in the summer of 2021, a searing heat dome hung over the island for days emphasizing the presence of a record drought that by mid-August had lowered the local aquifer to the level that my pump failed. We had no water for the first time in fifty years on that island. A third of my planned studio production had to be abandoned. Luckily, we were spared most of the smoke wafting from the burning mainland forests as I fumbled about trying to reconstruct the plumbing. By November the highest recorded rainfall for that time of year had finally penetrated the heat-baked soil and the aquifer began to rise. Water re-emerged from the faucets.
We live in a time of crisis. The sheltered interconnected seas and channels that line the Northwest coast from Puget Sound to Alaska offer protection from the vast powers of the open Pacific. If one attempts to read the ever-changing light of that inner passage, its tidal surge, the spawn of its creatures, there is a possible solace. The Curve of Time V (a series now in its fifth year), strives to portray the luminosity of those inner coastal waters in its subtle variance."
It is indeed this notion of solace that Burrows so aptly captures and shares. With subtlety and exactitude, Burrows allows his artworks to appear effortless; each is filled with character, highlighting the sublime colors of the natural world from which Burrows draws comfort. Yet far from being static, the wall sculptures contain within their fields of color gentle insistence that we pay attention; to ensure that what inspires us today exists in perpetuity.
Tom Burrows, Beazley Passage and Sockeye, both polymer resin, both 48 x 30 inches
Throughout his career, Tom Burrows has explored a myriad of sculptural materials and styles, ranging from performative, site-specific installation work to two-dimensional pieces. His work has always been concerned with drawing attention to social and environmental issues; he has presented research-driven artist responses to homelessness, housing, and displacement, and more recently refers to the increasingly evident negative impacts of climate change. Having developed a unique process through his explorations in casting polymer resin, Burrows’ resulting wall sculptures showcase color as an entity, light as an active participant, and stillness as essential.
Tom Burrows has a BA in Art History from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, and studied Sculpture at St. Martin’s College, London, UK. He has shown his work internationally, at galleries across North America, and at places like the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; and Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC. His work is part of collections including the Canadian Embassy to Japan, Tokyo; Government of Ontario Art Collection, Toronto, ON; the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; and Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON among others.