Cataract Gorge Abstracts: Frank Burgers

19 December 2017 – 5 February 2018 | WPAC Foyer Gallery

An exhibition consisting of work from a period that included a four week self-funded Art Residency at the ‘Gatekeeper’s Cottage’, Cataract Gorge, Launceston, Tasmania, in 2015 (courtesy of Launceston City Council). While the work spanned a period of several years, a play with -and exploration off – structure, colour and composition is consistent in all of the works.

‘Cataract Gorge’ featured strongly fissured rock faces and the 3 meter changing tide line of the Tamar River. These provided the structural beginnings for the Launceston Residency work, while the ‘Post Launceston’ paintings completed afterwards in the studio freed up and loosened Burgers’ abstractions.

The thinking behind this new resurgence in abstraction in Burgers’ practise was based on a desire to ‘revigorate’ his love for the act of painting, the physical handling of the medium (oil paint) and colour. Burgers said;

” I was finding myself somewhat bogged down with the over-conceptualising of my work, to the point where I was enjoying the act of painting less. This led to a series of ‘One Day Paintings’ in which it was my aim to start and resolve a painting in a day: if unsuccessful I’d scrape off the day’s efforts and start again on a tonal ground left over for the next time.  The work presented here at the Wangaratta Arts Centre Foyer evolved immediately after the ‘Day Painting’ phase.”

The paintings from the Cataract Gorge series are not literal copies of the scenery, rather he used that environment to inspire his imagination and start off the painting process, after which it was a matter of finding interesting and working solutions to resolve the painting.

“I like to think that I am influenced by what I see around me, especially Humanity’s interaction with, and effect on, our environment. I like my work to carry a potential for meaning: every person brings their own baggage of experiences and feelings to a painting and I hope to be able to manipulate my images I such a way that it allows to be read on multiple levels.”


image: Frank BURGERS, The Gorge 13, oil on canvas.