1963 Gallery is pleased to present liminal, a solo show by Helen Bur (b.1990)
In her latest series of paintings Helen Bur addresses our current threshold moment; a transitional period, marked by an over-stimulation of mass and social medias, turbulent social and political upheaval, and our inability to make efficient sense of the world.
Each of Bur’s paintings begins life as a digital composition, a process of breaking down and recomposing the constituent component of the image culture we are engulfed in. Through this process, unassociated content is brought together into a juxtaposition, which when rendered in paint is made to settle into an unusual proximity. Plausible situations, marked with a faint sense of impossibility and the absurd.
A makeshift refugee restaurant appears as the backdrop for a makeup artist to administer fake blood to an actor, two scenes which one would never relate. Yet in a world of increasingly edited, manipulated and even staged news, it resonates as faintly real.
Bur’s practice challenges us to make sense of a world we are increasingly unable, or maybe through exhaustion, unwilling, to interpret. In contrast to the attention grabbing tactics of click-bait news, or the bottomless downwards scroll of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the visual pane of a painting resists distraction or escape.
Her Daily Paints series exemplifies this attitude. Each measuring a minuscule 7cm by 7cm, they display an exquisite focus. Equally, to view, they require absolute attention and proximity, a physical closing off from external interruptions, a space where we can employ our intellect and instincts to make a valued interpretation.
Born in 1990 Bur lives a semi-nomadic lifestyle, her practice includes works on paper and canvas, as well as large scale walls. She has recently completed murals in Teufelsberg, Berlin, for Festival Asalto in Zaragoza, Spain, and in the Dharavi slum, Mumbai, after being on a residency in Goa. Last year she took part in 1963 Gallery’s group show Past Present Future.