“Not what I’ve done but what the sea has done” is what he states almost as a core belief, although he doesn’t confess to it directly. The artist Sid Burnard perpetuates a tradition that has fascinated humanity for millennia: the collection of driftwood (mainly) and the act of bringing it back to life through sculpture.
In the most philosophical way, the artist here is a vessel for artistic expression, the meaning of life discovering itself in the truest sense of eastern philosophy. Burnard is quite equivocally the son of conceptual art and of deep imagination that comes to life through his beach findings. As I noticed, it is not just finding pieces that fit together, his method is to find remanences of souls lost at sea.
His compassion makes the artist ponder over a set of bird skulls and what the eyes they once hosted have witnessed. Nonetheless, Burnard yet again contemplates not just on nature but life itself, reflecting and pondering itself. Wow-whey, how magnificent God has come on today! Burnard appreciates the core philosophy from the ancient east that proclaims life as being a celebration. He carefully observes other creatures and the life they lead contrasting to the one the artist does. Perhaps that fuels the creatures he creates, perhaps his fascination with birds is just a happy environmental accident – I’m not too sure. One thing is for certain, the artist is present through his sincerity and the devotion to his microcosm as a system within another: the grand universe itself.
I appreciate Burnard for being unlike Duchamp as possible – his work is far beyond ready-made. Although conceptual artists can’t escape the comparison or rather the contrast to the French sculptor, I see in Burnard’s work his authentic self. He sees everything a miracle – as Einstein would have said it. From burnt scraps, he extracts colour with his imagination to a degree that only the masterful can hope to understand. Although he is very strict in his practice, he plays with his findings beautifully.
All in all, a delightful trip to the coast. Merveilleux monsieur Burnard!
For more about the artist and his work, check out his page at Goldmark.com