Contemporary Art by Southern Artists

Robert Burch

Artist Statement

"I began working with glass in Atlanta, GA at the age of 16 while, still in high school. After graduating I worked for Tadashi Torii for two years. At 19, I attended Pilchuck Glass School and decided to make the jump to the mecca of glass working, Seattle. One of the most influential Seattle based artists I have worked with is Martin Blank. In the time span of five years I was a gaffer, cold worker, lead shipper, and his metal worker. Subsequently, I worked on color design teams for Chihuly Inc. I am currently living and working as an independent traveling artist, teaching and making work where the opportunities arise.

It is very easy to be mesmerized by the movement of hot glass. My inspiration initially is drawn from the material itself. I am captivated by the realization that the more I learn, the more there is to learn. Through this realization I find that my life’s path is compatible with this material. I travel frequently to work with glass in as many places as I possibly can, and from that I build relationships with other artists around the world. Living this way, I am constantly collecting different ideas and incorporating them into my own unique work. I am driven to create designs that are new but that also have foundations built on the history of glasswork. I feel as an artist I have an amazing opportunity to reference the non-physical world in a 3D medium. Glass can be manipulated to present a visual challenge for the viewer. A very abstract form makes for a bigger stretch of the imagination for a viewer to find a connection to the real world. However, the larger a gap between the items of a metaphor equate into a more powerful representation.

I would like to continue to manipulate glass form to perplex people, keeping my intentions less obvious and allowing the viewer to connect with something in the shapes. I would prefer for people to connect with my art on their own terms, rather than cloud the room with my words telling people what to see. Glass is a perfect balance of mental, physical, and artistic challenges. These challenges are what drive me to continue to create, and that is exactly what I intend to do."

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