“Brendan Stuart Burns’s paintings, drawings and photographs are a direct and physical response to both his walks and his more contemplative moments experienced along particular stretches of the Pembrokeshire coast which he has come to know intimately. Time spent walking, often over the same stretches of the same beaches in all weathers and states of the tide, provides him with the experiences necessary to touch and connect physically and emotionally with the land, its history and deep sense of time, all elements that are ever present in his paintings.
His works present simultaneously a ‘direct’ and ‘sensed’ experience of the landscape, its geology and geomorphology, in addition to the complex psychological effects such places have on the individual. Horizons shift and scale becomes relative as both close-up details and wider perspectives are referenced, often within the same pieces of work, and recreated later in the studio from copious notes and sketch books. Fundamental to Burns’s method is his layered use of oil and wax, building and constructing an equivalent to the experience of surface, form and space.
Each work accordingly sits on the edge between abstraction and representation, reflecting the uneasy balance between the physical and the psychological, intention and accident, the intuitive and the considered. They recreate the entirety of Burns’s experience for us (the transformation of daily and annual cycles; changing climatic and tidal conditions), rather than merely documenting a discrete moment within the traditional confines of naturalism.”