RIC Burkitt’s new life as a painter began in early 2016 when he made the decision to reconnect with his creative self.
“I have dabbled in art since I was a kid but was pushed into graphic design at college in Melbourne many, many years ago,” Burkitt said.
“I worked in graphic design most of my adult life, now teaching it, and only recently took one day a week to concentrate on painting.
“Realism was my thing at university but I have since become a huge fan of abstraction, as it throws up lots of surprises and challenges and who doesn’t thrive on those?”
Burkitt completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Curtin University in 1992 and was working on a series of abstract paintings when Trish Juniper invited the Stoneville artist to put on an exhibition at Juniper Galleries in Darlington.
Titled Interlude, the exhibition is a collection of Burkitt’s paintings he has created in-between work and family life.
“Like many artists, my creative energy emerges in the gaps, the intervening periods of time when those ‘more important’ things can be ignored,” he said.
“For me, my ‘painting day’ is my breathing space, my intermission, my respite from all the other distractions of life; it’s a day for exploring ideas I’ve had during the week and releasing creative energy.
“So I would describe this collection of paintings as the culmination of my time-outs over the past year or so, the work I’ve done during my interludes.
“I hope people can see why I do it and understand the attraction of those little gaps in our existence, the interludes that we all need to find. There is a whole other life in those quiet little spaces.”
Burkitt has worked mostly with acrylic paint, oils sticks and oil crayons/pastels, staying with the same materials as much as possible to push the possibilities with them.
He is drawn to the exploration of process-driven ideas, to the search for clarity and resolution in the painting, and loves the experimental side of it.
“But it’s such a frustrating and puzzling genre,” he said.
“It’s hard to explain why a painting ‘works’, what it means at the end, and why I even did it, but I’m completely captivated by it.”
Interlude is on August 4 to 25, with Juniper Galleries open 10am to 5pm weekends and Mondays to Fridays by appointment.