The extraordinary work of driftwood assembler Sid Burnard never fails to put a smile on one's face. Produced in conjunction with our first show of Burnard's work in 2012, this short Profile film follows Sid as he beach-combs on his favoured coastline stretches around Borth and the greater Cardigan Bay.
It also provides an insight into Sid's working methods as an assembler of driftwood birds, beasts and shorescapes as we delve into Sid's huge collection of material and the creative mind behind his extraordinary pieces.
Sid Burnard's life as a full-time artist began in 2012 after his first exhibition at the Goldmark Gallery and a life of countless and colourful careers. Since the success of his first show, Sid has spent the last four years tirelessly scouring the Welsh and wider British coast for usable pieces of driftwood and sea-drift debris for assembling his compositions, all in preparation for our imminent second exhibition.
(above) Sid in his new workshop in Borth, surrounded by salvaged material; (below) two new works, 'An Exchange of Views' (left) and 'Sea Gypsy' (right)
His working methods are by necessity time-consuming and his materials difficult and fragile, making even deceptively simple assemblages incorporating only 2 or 3 elements difficult to accomplish.
Worn bits of driftwood, soaked with saltwater from the sea, must be left to dry naturally to avoid flaking and cracking. Larger hunks of wood can sit for years waiting to dry out, while smaller and more delicate pieces threaten to split or completely disintegrate before they can be used, making the hours spent salvaging in thunderous gales and rainstorms seem frustratingly futile.
Studio shots of three new exhibition works: 'Titanis Chick' (above); 'A Freud of the Dark' (left); and 'Blue Sea' (right)
Sid also works to strict and self-imposed conditions: he never cuts to shape or colours his material, only working with what he finds as it presents itself. As Sid discusses in the film, this approach becomes doubly demanding; a matter of deciding what to leave behind on the beaches as well as seeking out the very best pieces of driftwood amidst the rocks and pebbles.
(above) Sid Burnard with 'Aztec Bird-God' on the West-Wales coast; (below) standard (left) and collector's (right) edition of our latest Goldmark publication, 'Sid's Book'
Over the last 4 years, in addition to constructing over 100 new feathered friends, Sid has been documenting his processes and the birth of his creations in a diary which we have published. Entitled Sid's Book, it includes, alongside notes on his assemblages and the surrounding West-Wales landscape, various recollections and reflections on his past jobs and a lifetime of enthusiasm for Nature's bounty.
unique driftwood collographs and an etching will accompany the collector's edition of the new book; collographs will also be available for sale at the gallery
Published in both standard and collector's editions, collograph prints that Sid has produced in our atelier from pieces of salvage measuring less than 2mm in thickness will accompany each deluxe collector's book, as well as a small etching after one of Sid's driftwood birds.
(above) 'Bird for Ralph Steadman'; (below) 'Guinea Fowl' (left) and 'Indian Elephant' (right), all new works
The work in this second exhibition of Sid's represents an artist at the very height of his creative powers. Viewed on its own, each constituent piece of driftwood seems a small, crude lump of wood, metal or plastic. In combination, these items become magical birds and beasts with a life and attitude imbued by a creator with an incredible eye for the peculiarities of the natural world.
the running, dancing figure of 'Ode to Joy', another new work for the 2016 exhibition
We hope you can join us to enjoy Sid's creations in the gallery.