• Things you should know about me

    The person behind

    As a young child the challenge of drawing with a pencil on the white walls of my bedroom far outweighed the obvious parental response. The fascination of an image appearing through endless scribbling on the glossy page of the so called magic drawing block. I have always needed to scribble and have always loved the effect of graphite on a white surface.

    Over the past few years my landscape drawings have been replaced by a legacy to an art historical gender issue of the female artists using botanical drawings and paintings in their work.

    In the acclamation of attaining my tertiary age I wish to celebrate, through my drawing, the aging process. The technical precision of the mark making reminding me of the crocheting,knitting and embroidery with which the ladies would while away their time.

    I ask the viewer to admire the history within the cracks and crevices of the wrinkled skin loaded in wisdom and experience. The gold leaf cracks within the surfaces indicating further “breakage” through Life’s difficulties. As in the Japanese Kintsugi ,the mending of the cracks can only further enhance the vessel.

atelier/ nettie burnett

armazéns croft

rua choupelo

largo joaquim magalhães 23

4400-187 vila nova de gaia

+351 917 447 757
nettieburnett@hotmail.com

the other side of seeing

para lá do visivel

isolina carvalho

Visiting the studio of artist Nettie Burnett is a thrilling adventure. The first thing we see is a vast enigmatic and apparently empty world of grey and silence, but it is no more than an illusion. If we consider that looking is not the same as seeing, a fascinating world is revealed in the works we gradually discover there. It is a world that can as easily be inscribed in the mountains moulded by the passage of time, as appear unexpectedly in the dusky ground mist of what lies ahead or yet in the veneration of telluric values of the soil and vineyards of the distant Douro, as an eternal monument to silent and peaceful days. Here, the artist has used beauty and art to draw not only the time of the translucently shadowed mountain ranges but also an involvement with the landscape that lies beyond its origin, visible in its appearance as unchanging, reminding us of times immemorial. We look again and discover that the space is filled with shapes and memories fluttering like shadowy white birds or unlikely firebirds; wafted by the whistling wind over the river where almost invisibly or in a poetic magical dance they come to rest each day at sunset. Her drawings can be seen, either propped up, like imposing ephemeral landscapes to which we are most definitely linked, or else flying along the bare walls, in time that is earth-coloured and that one day settled down for a silent dialogue greater than words, where the essence of the works lies on the other side of seeing.

To speak of Nettie Burnett’s very topical art, of the worlds she has reinvented which evolve in enigmatic spaces from the symbiosis between real and imaginary, is no easy task. All we have are our emotions as we look at these drawings that seem to fly out of our reach, or at the subtle ancestrality of such memories, all present and alive as the end result of an introspective solitude offering us magical enjoyment, as surprising as it is truly impressive and intense. Regarding what is on the other side of seeing I could quote Clarice Lispector, who so wisely advises us: “Don’t worry about understanding. Living surpasses understanding”.

These are experiences about the colour of the earth and about time, disquieting and fascinating, culminating in the unveiling of new worlds or paradigmatic realities, beckoning us to a dialogue of enjoyment and silence, the result of a reflexive and intimist containment that the artist is so skilled at conveying through the language of artistic and poetic thought, in almost compulsive obedience to unexpected forces that lie in her deepest “I”, where memories are stored.

I am also inspired to quote the words of George Steiner in his book The Poetry of Thought: “Once a traveller in Argos had perceived the shepherds on the stony hills as “herdsmen of the winds,” once a mariner out of the Piraeus had sensed that his keel was “ploughing the sea,” the road to Plato and to Imma-nuel Kant lay open. It began in poetry and has never been far from it”.

Visitar o atelier da artista Nettie Burnett, é uma aventura apaixonante. Deparamo-nos á primeira vista, com um vasto mundo, enigmático, aparentemente vazio, cinzento e silencioso, não passando tudo isso de uma falsa ilusão. Considerando que olhar não será o mesmo que ver, um mundo fascinante se descobre através das obras que por lá vamos descobrindo, mundo esse que, tanto pode estar inscrito nas montanhas escarpadas, desde um longínquo tempo, como surgir duma forma inusitada na neblina pintada de crepúsculo e pousada no chão do devir, ou ainda, na exaltação de valores telúricos da terra e das vinhas do Douro distante, como monumento eterno ao silêncio e à paz dos dias. Foi lá que, a artista desenhou em beleza e arte, não só o tempo das serranias translúcidas de sombras, mas também um envolvimento paisagístico que está para lá da sua origem, visível na aparência de superfície imutável, e que nos remete para tempos imemoriais. Um olhar ainda inquieto e descobre-se que todo esse espaço está povoado de formas e memórias que esvoaçam como aves brancas e difusas, ou improváveis pássaros de fogo que, levados pelo sibilar do vento que caminha sobre o rio, se afogam depois, em voo quase apagado, ou mágica dança poética, nos poentes de todos os dias. Os seus desenhos ora repousam como imponentes paisagens efémeras, às quais ficamos indubitavelmente ligados, ora voam pelas paredes nuas, num tempo cor de terra que, um dia pousou por ali, para um diálogo de silêncio maior do que as palavras e onde a essência das obras, está para além do visível.

Falar da arte de marcada actualidade de Nettie Burnett, dos seus mundos reinventados e que se desenvolvem em espaços enigmáticos, a partir da simbiose entre o real e o imaginário, não é tarefa fácil. Apenas as emoções sentidas, face aos desenhos já referidos que voam ou fogem de nós, ou ainda à subtil ancestralidade dessas memórias, tudo se apresenta e respira como resultado final duma solidão introspectiva que nos permite uma fruição mágica, tão surpreendente, quanto verdadeiramente marcante e intensa. Citaria a propósito do que está para lá da aparência visível, Clarice Lispector que, tão sabiamente nos aconselha: «Não se preocupe em entender. Viver ultrapassa todo o entendimento».

São vivências da cor da terra e do tempo, inquietantes e fascinantes, que culminam com o desvendar de novos mundos, ou realidades paradigmáticas, convocando-nos para um diálogo feito de fruição e silêncio, como resultado dum recolhimento reflexivo e intimista que a artista tão bem sabe transmitir, através da linguagem do pensamento artístico e poético, obedecendo quase compulsivamente a inusitadas forças que, residem no seu «Eu» mais profundo, onde se arquivam as memórias.

Ocorre-me lembrar ainda, as palavras de George Steiner, no seu livro “A Poesia do Pensamento” e que passo a citar: “a partir do dia em que um viajante de Argos, ao ver os pastores nas colinas rochosas, os percebeu como «pastores dos ventos”, ou do dia em que um marinheiro do Pireu teve a impressão de que a sua quilha “lavrava o mar”, estava aberto o caminho que levaria a Platão e a Immanuel Kant. Caminho que começou na poesia e nunca se afastou demasiado dela”.

CV

QUALIFICATIONS

BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture)

Wimbledon School of Art.

MA Fine Art

Norwich School of Art and Design

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Lecturer in Drawing 4 Year ESAP, Porto 2001

Course Leader Foundation Studies

In Art & Design University College Suffolk

MA Programme, Goldsmiths College(Visiting Lecturer)

BA Art & Design Visual Arts Programme UCS

BTEC HND Design Communication UCS

SOLO SHOWS

2002 Galeria da Universidade, Braga

2001 Galeria do Teatro do Campo Alegre,Porto

2000 Arvore, Porto

1999 Unicorn Gallery Ipswich

1998 E Escape Installation, Edge Gallery, Suffolk

1997 Shadow Installation, Dartington, Devon.

1996 Installation for Composers Concert – University of East Anglia

1996 Sites Abroad Installation – In collaboration with Pedro Rebelo, Composer.

1994 Mapping the line, UCS

1993 Guest Artist University College, Suffolk.

1929 Edge Gallery, Suffolk

1991 Denis Taplin Gallery, Woodbridge

1990 East Anglian Architects Conference, Guest Artist

MIXED SHOWS

2002 11 Prémio Baviera de Pintura (Prémio Reveleção)

  • 4a Biennal Marinha Grande (Invited)
  • X1X Exposição Colectiva dos Sócios da Arvore

2001 Bienal Cerveira

  • Congresso de Fatima (Invited artist)
  • Bienal de Marinha Grande (Prizewinner)

1998 D’Arcy Gallery, Ipswich

  • This is 1999, Ipswich (Invited)
  • Air, Aldeburgh

1999 Dots Gallery, Ipswich

  • Suffolk Group Show

1997 This is a Chair, Steeple End Gallery

1998 Repro, Norwich Gallery

  • Entrepots, Lille, France

1994 The Mayor’s Choice, Ipswich

Works in Public and Private Collections in Portugal,Great Britain, France, Italy, Singapore, Australia and USA.

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