Steve Burden’s work investigates ancestry and heritage. Born in a Deptford council flat
and going on to complete a degree at Goldsmiths, Burden has butted against the
inherent classicism of art higher education. His most recent body of work is a response to
researching his DNA and finding a link to 11th century Norman aristocracy, prompting
him to think about land ownership and the birth of the class system. His work shows the
thin veil between class divides, how a few centuries can move a family from castle to
council estate. The work blurs the line between figuration and abstraction, the energy of
application noticeable in Burden’s fluid, lyrical marks. This blending of materials mirrors
his breaking of boundaries in a socially constructed hierarchy. In Burden’s work, we see a
questioning of the status quo, handled with defiance and playfulness in equal measure.
Organized in collaboration with curator, Adelaide Bannerman.
Text by Kate Reeve-Edwards.
Funded by Arts Council England.