Moonstories – Sue Burke

These artworks were photographed by Max Darby in February 2012


The artworks in this exhibition were made by Sue Burke and are on exhibition from 10th February – 10th march, 2012,  in Purgatory Galley in North Melbourne.


Additional works from the series can be found in the accompanying exhibition – Moonstories 2 – Sue Burke.


The Artist’s Statement is below the images.


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Artist Statement

The broad themes of my work relate to time, place and perceptual experience. I have become increasingly interested in creating art as a form of ‘encounter’. One that not only offers ways of ‘seeing’ and ‘perceiving’ an experience but also has the potential to evoke memory of an experience.


The themes stem from my early investigations into the cycles of time, particularly as governed by the phases of the Moon. This continual cycle is a solemn reminder that our own human experience can be interpreted as a relatively brief and linear narrative. It also alerted me to the notion of the Parallax, the scientific formula of using time, location and angles of vision to measure vast distances in space. And then, I was to learn about the Parallax Phenomenon, which relates to the same relationships of time, vision, place and location but extends into a sensory experience, that feeling of the Moon following you. A perception created by the presence and/or absence of the visual cues on the landscape.


In recognizing the potential for these ideas, I have continued to be inspired by artists and theorists from the past and present. Marcel Duchamp made use of the Ready-mades as third-dimension shadows of his fourth-dimension Large Glass machine. Duchamp insisted that the observer employs their mind to see and to know, and that it is this interaction between the art and the observer that creates the truth. The influence on Duchamp by the work of the Mathematician Poincaré further alludes to the potential for the development of perceptual experiences in my own work. Poincaré’s technique to infer an invisible three-dimensional object from only the cast shadows in two dimensions, influenced my own exploration of ‘inferred dimensionality’. The belief that through logic we can pull together the clues, extrapolate and then ‘know’ or ‘see’ in our minds the higher dimensional object is of particular interest.


Contemporary artists who inspire for their artistic style and use of materials are many, but towards the latter part of my practice, it was Tony Garifalakas and Sally Smart for their figurative yet highly manipulated forms through positive and negative representation. Ideas for shifting perceptions were realized. These artists also make use of the printed matter in their works and the level of materiality achieved resonated with my own aesthetic.

Even ‘the most transitory prepare their space for presence, and thus, for encounter. This is a complete experience, one that cannot be reproduced. The process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment and the mind to find the truth, allows for an investigation into the potential range of human perception through contemporary means. This has become the primary objective of my studio practice.


Sue Burke


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One Response to “Moonstories – Sue Burke”

  1. max says:

    I love these works Sue. They are so thought-provoking but also are so different to your earlier work…some of it found on this website. Congratulations, Max

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