School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Professor Andrew Burton

Professor of Fine Art

Background

Professor Andrew Burton is visual artist and academic with an international reputation for his work in ceramics and for situating sculpture in relation to ceramics, craft and architecture. He has worked extensively in Europe and Asia, including with the EKWC (NL) and the British Council in India. He has twice been Asem Duo (Korea) Exchange Professor. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. In 2015 he was awarded Gold Prize at the KOCEF Biennale for Ceramic Sculpture.


Research

Andrew Burton's research and creative practice is in the field of contemporary sculpture with an emphasis on material, process and form.  He works with materials as various as chilli peppers, bamboo, clay and cow dung - often exploring how these materials can work in combination with each other. Much of his work is collaborative. In 2011 he worked  with a group of village women from farming communities around Delhi to create a group of 'bithooras' -  extraordinary cow-dung structures based on fuel stores found on the periphery of Delhi for the National Craft Museum in Delhi. Most recently he has been working with artisan workers in Kampala to explore how everyday low-tech practices can find different resonances through visual art. 

Much of Andrew's work experiments with reclaiming and re-using materials. HIs sculptures are often conceived as temporary structures – after a sculpture has been resolved it is broken up, with the component parts salvaged to form the building blocks for the next work. His sculptures made from miniature bricks are  painted or coloured before they are dismantled. Over time, and as the bricks are formed into many different sculptures they gradually acquire on their surfaces a patina of the scraps of paint, cement and glaze that still remain. These surfaces convey a sense of their own history, alluding to the way in which over history architectural structures have anticipated our current concern with reuse.This work explores scale, referencing both monumental and day-to-day structures. In its emphasis on the re-use and recycling  of his own sculpture, the works provoke questions about the nature of monumentality and tensions between conservation and sustainability.

From January 2017 Andrew will be leading a major Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project 'Creation, Curation and Exchange: Mapping Contemporary Art in Heritage Sites. This three-year project will explore the commissioning  of temporary visual art in heritage sites from multiple perspectives. Does contemporary visual art change audience understanding and appreciation of heritage properties, and what challenges do artists face when they undertake these kinds of project? Creation, Curation and Exchange is a collaboration between Newcastle and Leeds universities, the National Trust, English Heritage, the Churches Conservation Trust, Arts Council England and the Contemporary Visual Art Network. Members of the project team include Professor Andrew Newman, Professor Vee Pollock, Judith King (Art & Heritage), Rebecca Farley and Niki Black. 



Teaching

Andrew teaches on all stages of the undergraduate and postgraduate Fine Art programmes.

Publications