Charles Rea

Except for a hiatus of ten years, Tom Burrows’ primary artistic focus since the late 1960’s is creating polymer cast panels.  He has produced varied bodies of work using a process that demonstrates remarkable diversity.  The works’ surface seems to suspend and transmit light and adapts to changing environmental lighting conditions. Tom’s range of colour is minimal in any single work.  The saturated coloured grounds have an emotional effect on the viewer through a sense of bathing in narrow bands of light waves emitting from the works’ surface.

Tom’s work springs from the 60’s, a period of great cultural activity in Vancouver; a time of significant experimentation, socially and artistically. While highly innovative and engaged with the various developments in Vancouvers’ artistic unfolding, the essential spirit of his practice has stayed true to this epoch.

This painting triptych is part of a larger body of paintings that were exhibited in 2013 exploring the notion of Parataxis.

Rea has created a series of unlikely narrative encounters that emit absurdity and humour, and that posit a sense of the archaic and iconic, the customary and extraordinary... The titles accompanying these works, function like captions, and they too seem somehow familiar, like stock words of wisdom or nonsensical moralisms in the smaller paintings, and reflections on the artistic process in the larger ones. At the same time, the titles maintain a degree of independence from the paintings and return us to the idea of parataxis...  Over the years, Rea’s artwork has assumed many different forms and subject matter using symbols from popular culture, historical markers, spirituality, scientific equations, and the wealth of information embedded in the pages behind book covers—but underneath all of this is an exploration of myriad systems that have come to represent our visual perception and knowledge bank. In this recent work, the knowledge is one we may not be fully cognizant of but that may be lodged, untapped, in the recesses of our minds.
 – Keith Wallace,2013

Tom Burrows

My role as an artist is to construct a set of parameters within which media such as pigmented polyester or glazed porcelain self-generate image, parameters akin to the climatic conditions that allow ice crystals to form snowflakes. I do try to avoid gesture. Any emotional or narrative content is imposed by the viewer anthropomorphizing the medium. The medium is the message. It glows with an inner luminance.