Wicked and playful, full of colour and fresh salty seaside wit, Ian Burke’s paintings are rather like the Punch and Judy shows he depicts in this new Art Show opening at Staithes Gallery on Saturday 25th October 2008.
In Ian’s view the show is a celebration of his own “getting away with it” by making his living as an artist and a teacher, both of which give him immense pleasure, instead of the drudgery of a dreary nine to five job. The show is dedicated to his late mother, Mrs Audrey Elizabeth Burke of Redcar – a thank you for her insistence on his continuing in education at the age of 16.
Ian is a maverick painter and printmaker, still fascinated by many of the subjects that have enthralled him since his Redcar childhood: the seaside with its piers and entertainments; beaches, boats and tractors; the fishing industry; lobsters; huts and sheds; the detritus that gets washed up on shore. He depicts the coast without sentiment or nostalgia. Like Mr Punch himself, his strong, bright images shout at the viewer. His subjects and their treatment can shock and disturb us. But the mischievous wit, the painterly confidence and sheer bare faced cheek ensure he gets away with it.