Lee Burgers

Lee completed her BAFA(hons) at Michealis School of Fine Art majoring in sculpture, with a fondness for photography and video mediums as forms of documentation.

Having taken part in many collaborative independent curatorial projects, her medium is flexible as can be seen in previous works, which include: public works, photography, performance, videopieces, bronze sculpture, metalwork, mold making and book art.

Her art practice concerns itself with notions of loss,adaptation, labour intensive work as a form of catharsis, and the idea of the narrative as the binding factor to our human experience.

As an artist yourself, what is your biggest achievement or highlight of your career up to now?

As an artist myself, my biggest achievement has been to not give up on art. I have seen many colleagues and great artists walk away from their practice. It is the "I used to" paint/draw/sculpt utterances that make me grateful and entitled to call myself an artist. There comes a time where you realise being an artist is not a profession, it is not a job, it is a way of life.

As a curator, which project or exhibition are you most proud of?

I have been involved with multiple curatorial projects, and for varying reasons I am proud of every project. My favourite was a public mural workshop in the Upington informal settlement, because creativity needs not education but merely encouragement. Similarly, the Till it Breaks  experimental shows at Greatmore Studios was an amazing opportunity to work with other creatives to create a discussion for works to exist in. I can't name them all, but there hasn't been one that I was not honoured to be a part of.

Tell me about the Artist Signature Decor collective...

The Artist Signature Decor Collective was formed by a trio of artists with vastly different opinions about what art is and what it should be and how to strip it of its own pretension...it came from the space, that if the three of us can't work together how are we going to survive in the big bad art world. So the Collective is a space for artists to take the reigns and negotiate the market for themselves, they can submit works under their own terms and there is room for negotiation. I never make exclusive decisions as the Collective is comprised of all of the artists involved and works on the grounds of respect and consideration.

How would you describe your taste in art? What are you most drawn to?

My taste in art varies. I can appreciate works of almost any nature.  I am drawn to works that resonate with themes of nature, existentialism, humanity but again almost most works fall under these tags. I also believe that the love of a work is dependent on access and sometimes you just need someone to say a few words about a work and thereafter you see the work in a new light.

What role does art play in your life? 

The role of art in my life is almost overwhelming, I make art, my work is based in a gallery, my friends are artists- basically my life would be empty without it.

Do you have any advice for someone starting an art collection?

 My advice to someone about to start an art collection is, just start. There are two reasons to buy a work of art, one being that you think it is a good investment and the other is that you inexplicably like it- with the second reason you can never be wrong. While the market is interesting enough, the pleasure I get from buying art is that I am supporting artists and I get to own beautiful items that whispered sweet nothings to me and stole my heart.

How would you describe your personal style?

My own personal style can be summed up as earthy or raw, not to say that I do not like the slick or shiny, but my own style is definitely more intuitively driven.

What does the art in your home say about you?

The art in my home most likely says I am sentimental. I tend to be involved in projects with people and then I just cant help myself but support. There is a void in the market where many emerging artists demand to know why people aren't buying their works, I simply respond by asking when last did you support the arts? I must confess, I've mostly only bought art out of a sense of longing for it.

Which South African artist, living or dead, would you most like to meet?

I am happy to say, I have met my SA hereos, they are Willem Boshoff, Jane Alexander, Diane Victor and Penny Siopis. There is just something about them that have inspired me on my creative path.

Which books are on your bedside table?

My own three Moleskine Journals as well as "The Wild Sheep Chase" by Haruki Murakami.

What music are you currently listening to?

The David Bowie Discography and some Pink Floyd.(I just cant help myself).

What was the last great exhibition you went to?

I am going to be honest, there have been good exhibitions but I cannot for the life of me think of the last GREAT exhibition, perhaps the Tretchikoff show from a few years ago at the SANG; but the reason for this is that he was the peoples painter and managed to find his way into the National Gallery from exhibiting in retail stores. That makes me respect him and his work.

Do you have a favourite museum or gallery (worldwide)?

Alas, I do not have a favourite museum or gallery, mostly because my favourite artworks transcend spaces and are rarely owned. I guess it is because I have an affinity towards public works and land art.

If you could have any piece of art on StateoftheART regardless of price or size, what would it be and why?

I would want Sarah Walmsley's "I can see you"; because it is a work that I am drawn to, in a quiet and peaceful way.

Bronze and Book contemporary sculpture by Lee Burgers

The Lonely Sea and Sky, Lee Burgers, bronze and book, edition of one, 25 x 30 x 44 cm, 2016

"Mist and Memory: The Subjectivity of Landscapes"

When we think about South African landscape artist, the names that spring to mind are Hugo Naude, HP Pierneef and Gregorie Boonzaier as though the tradition of landscape art is one of the past. This curation intends to offer viewers a selection of contemporary works with varying interpretations and presentations of the inherent subjectivity of landscapes. The notable aspect of these works is a sense of an emotive underpinning, the lyrical and poetic titles personify the landscape not only as a physical place but as a lived experience. Memories are complex as they are personal and influential, our responses are determined by our memories. Landscapes tend to evoke an emotive response, a narrative built from memory, it is easy to drift through the spaces represented in these works as they are all familiar yet unknown.Together these works map a terrain of contemporary landscape works to be explored by viewers.