My work is about structure, composition and colour, about discovering new ways to invigorate the painting process and find meaning in my work that extends beyond the mere personal. I work in oils on linen, and gouache, pastel and charcoal on paper. Recently I started a series of modest lino-cuts re inventing drawings from sketchbooks into black and white images, allowing me to extend these ideas further.
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Frank Burgers, Painter, Drawer, Teacher, odd job man! To live I paint, to eat I read gas meters! This is what it is like to be an artist in 21st Century Australia; the National Galleries attract art consumers in the multi-millions, while Regional Galleries still face daily battles for funds to keep the doors open. A small minority of (good and bad) artists are rewarded for their efforts, while most (good and bad) artists live well below the poverty line and can't claim welfare because there is no definition for 'unemployed artist'; they fail the unemployment test because despite a lack of income they are making art hence they are 'employed'. The only way to be able to make a claim for Newstart (when you start paying car rego with the rent money, for instance) is by renouncing your Art Practice.
A cultural shift is required, it may be happening already in baby steps, (popular TV shows celebrating the purchase of art pieces for home decoration, for example), but artists alone, whatever the revolution, cannot do it. This is not about the 'avant garde', if that still exists at all, which is about disrupting and reconsidering the accepted norm, but about a basic fairness in society about wealth distribution based on your contribution: artist continually contribute to the wealth and health of our society, often well beyond minimal or expected efforts, for little or no financial rewards and consequently, are impoverished. Statistics are brutal; artists are among the lowest earners in Australia and, based on observation, suffer higher then average from mental illnesses.
A solution to this sad state of affairs has to be driven by society as a whole, and instigated by those running the country. A cultural shift in which Art and Creativity are valued as being essential to the health (and wealth) of all people, rewarded accordingly, supported by social infrastructure and education, can be achieved if thoroughly promoted. Examples of other such government initiated cultural shifts are the 'quit smoking, campaign, 'Slip, slop, slap' skin cancer awareness campaign, the current anti gambling promotions, and others.
The benefits to society would be a multi billion dollar local art industry, with wealth distribution filtering down to lift those 'unemployed' artists up into tax paying, home buying, respectable citizens. The growth of the economy by auxiliary institutions and businesses (think education, art businesses, professional bodies), social health benefits (creative expression as therapy), and impact by the creative arts industry on 'critical mass' in thinking in, for example, Design, Engineering, Technology, Science, etc, would be profound. A 'creative nation' to quote a once popular political slogan, needs roots.
In conclusion, I paint and draw ordinary things, relevant to the times I live in. If I stop working creatively I cease to function well as a human being. Lifeless.
That's why I make art.
"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?"
Vincent Van Gogh
level 1, 122 Bridge St E
MORE ABOUT NORTH EAST ARTISANS
North East Artisans is an independent artists run not-for-profit set up to provide a point of sale and studio space for local artists and artisans. All its activities are funded by shop sales and other entrepreneurial activities. NEA is entirely run by volunteers and has an 'open door' policy for the general public, including open studios during business hours. You can visit NEA:
Monday to Friday 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 2 pm
I'm in Studio 11
Online shop not active, contact the artist direct.
Born 1965, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. (Nationalised 1983).
1999 THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, GRADUATE DIPLOMA OF EDUCATION.
1993 - 1994 BOX HILL COLLEGE OF TAFE, ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA OF ARTS (WOOD DESIGN).
1984 – 1986 BALLARAT COLLEGE OF ADVANCED EDUCATION, BACHELOR OF ARTS
(FINEART), majoring in Painting.
2017 – ‘Cataract Gorge Abstracts’, Wangaratta Performing Arts Foyer.
2016 - ‘Return by Fire’, Art Space Wodonga
2015 – ‘Looking back before the next show’, Cathy Oddie Contemporary Art Space, Wangaratta.
2014 - ‘She makes things, he just paints’, Elvery Fine Art Gallery, Chiltern.
2010 – ‘Key’ Pivotal Galleries, Richmond
2008 – (July) ‘The revolving door’ Albury Regional Art Gallery NSW.
2008 – (March) ‘Frank Burgers’ Pivotal Gallery, Richmond.
2007 – ‘A pretty Mocking’, Wodonga Art Space, Wodonga.
2003 – ‘25 Gouaches’, Café Chiaro, Bright.
1995 – ‘Arks and Archetypes’, CASspace Windows, 546-564 Collins Street, Melbourne.
1990 – ‘One Man Show’, Joan Gough Studio Gallery, South Yarra.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Off Centre Gallery, Milawa, 2016-17.
Sawtooth gallery, Launceston, 2014.
Improvisations – 6 artists, 6 songs’. Wangaratta Art Gallery, 2013.
Trinity College Art Exhibition and Acquisitive Art Award, Albury, 2013-15.
GANEA ‘Across the Arts’, Wangaratta Art Gallery 2013.
‘A Child could do it’, Albury Art Gallery, 2012.
‘Mining the Archives’, Albury Art gallery, 2011.
Creating our Tomorrow’, Wangaratta Art Gallery, 2011.
‘Paintworks’, Wangaratta Art gallery, 2011.
Myrtleford acquisitive art prize, 2012, 2013, 2014.
‘One for the Road’, final exhibition Pivotal Galleries, Richmond, 2010.
‘Warming up’, Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery, 2010.
GIGS Art gallery, Wodonga, ongoing.
Finalist, Sunshine Coast Art prize 2009, 2007, Caloundra Regional Art Gallery
‘Figure 1’, Pivotal Galleries, Richmond. March 2009.
Arts Wodonga Hume Building Society Acquisitive art Award, annually since 2005.
The 2006 Fleming Muntz Art Prize, Albury Regional Art Gallery.
’20 perspectives’ Dinner Plain Village 2006, 2007.
‘The memory project’ Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery, 2005.
‘Self Portrait Award exhibition,2005’, Artholes Gallery, Fitzroy.
‘Those who can Teach’, Wodonga, 2005.
Wangaratta Jazz Art award 2002, 2003, 2005.
Linden Galleries, St Kilda1996.
ROAR 2, Fitzroy 1995.
Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery (Works on Paper Acquisitive Exhibition 1995).
Castlemaine Regional Art Gallery 1993.
NAVA Windows, City Square, Melbourne 1993.
‘ARTSPOST’, Ballarat Artist Co-op Gallery 1992.
Contemporary Art Society of Victoria (1989-1999).
King’s Valley Art Prize, Whitfield
Judge: Dianne Mangan
Trinity College Acquisitive Art Award
Trinity Anglican College, Albury.
Judges: Simone Nolan, Gaye Pattison, Steven O’Connor.
Fleming Muntz Albury Art prize
Albury regional Art Gallery.
Judges: Raymond Arnold, Rita Lazauskas.
Wangaratta Jazz-Art 2002 Award
Wangaratta exhibitions Gallery.
Judges: Jo Briscomb, Jason Hugonnet.
"AWARD FOR SCULPTURE"
Victorian Woodworkers Association.
Judges; Jenny Zimmer, John McLennon, Simon Lloyd.
CAS Inc Annual Exhibition.
Judge; Ron Robertson-Swan.
"FIRST PRIZE; ECKERSLEYS AWARD"
CAS Inc Annual Exhibition.
Judge; Ken Scarlet.
Collections; Albury Art Gallery, Trinity Anglican College Albury, DalZotto Wines,
Illustrated room brochure, ‘Mining the Archives’, Albury Art Gallery.
Illustrated room brochure, ‘Paintworks’, Wangaratta Art Gallery, 2011.
Illustrated Room Brochure, ‘The revolving door’ with essay by Dianne Mangan,
Director Wangaratta Art Gallery, Albury Regional Art Gallery.
Illustrated Catalogue, Sunshine Coast Art prize 2009, 2007 Caloundra Regional
Catalogue, ‘The memory project’ Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery.
Artist in Residence, King’s Bridge Cottage, Launceston, 2014.
Judge, Wangaratta Jazz Art Award 2012.
Represented by: ‘Off Centre Gallery’, Director Di Mangan.
Work by Frank Burgers is currently being exhibited at 'Off Centre Gallery' Milawa (http://off-centre.com.au/) You may also find his work at North East Artisans (NEA), 122 Bridge St E, Benalla VIC 3672 , where he runs art classes from his studio. Commissions on application.