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Artist Statement for Photographic Exhibit “Simplexity”:
Simplexity: An emerging theory that proposes a possible complementary relationship between complexity and simplicity.
Local photographer Burdette Parks is the featured artist for the month of August in the lobby gallery of Pendragon Theatre. An exhibit of his photographs titled “Simplexity” opens on August 7th with an Artist’s Reception from 5:30 to 7:00 and will run through Labor Day.
According to Mr. Parks’ artist statement for the show:
“The natural Order (pun intended) of Nature is Chaos. Nature tends not to do things in an orderly way. The natural world is a chaotic jumble of random occurrences of complexly ordered systems. There are too many variables and influences at work for order to be sustained. So when we observe nature in it’s unadulterated state, we see mostly the resulting chaos.
In this series of images, my goal as a photographer has been to make images of the natural world that simplify nature’s inherent chaos. This, I think, is a rather normal impulse for many photographers when framing and composing an image. But for this series, I have concentrated on the essentials. I worked to emphasize the graphic qualities of the subject, eliminating unnecessary detail and focusing on shapes, forms, colors, textures and relationships. As one focuses in more and more closely to natural subjects, the truth of the old aphorism that one can find a world in a grain of sand becomes abundantly clear. Things that appear extremely simple, even orderly, from a distance become intricately complex on closer inspection. On the other hand, by reducing the apparent detail in a larger perspective (akin to squinting at a landscape) detail is diminished and basic forms predominate.”
The display system for the images in this exhibit is a marked departure from the more traditional matting and framing of prints under glass. In collaboration with a skilled woodworker, a unique shadowbox-like presentation was created with the images “floating free” within a finely crafted natural wood box. The images were printed on specially coated photo-canvas using archival pigment inks. After drying, they were given two coatings of sealant to protect the surfaces from scrapes, water and UV light. (Though like any photo image, they should not be displayed in direct sun.) The canvases were then “stretched” onto wooden panels, positioned over background panels and locked in place. “Floating” within the box gives the images an added impression of depth.
Burdette’s Photo Bio:
Burdette was born and educated inNorth Dakotareceiving a BA in Theater Arts from the University of North Dakota. He developed an early interest in photography through his father, an inveterate and prolific family picture taker. That interest was cemented in 1964 when he sold two nature slides to the North Dakota State Travel Department. In college at the University of North Dakota, Burdette did yearbook photography for the Journalism Department, learned processing and darkroom basics doing work-study at the University News Bureau and was mentored in photography by a commercial photographer and a successful photojournalist while pursuing first a pre-med degree and ultimately a degree in Theatre Arts. A brief invitational stint with the U.S. Army got him toTexaswhere he managed and owned live theaters over fourteen years in bothSan AntonioandAustin.
During more than two decades directing and producing live theater, Burdette incorporated photography—doing publicity and production photography for his own and other theaters. His first formal gallery show was in 1980 at aSan Antoniogallery and for thirty years a sculptural piece of his has graced theSculptureGardenat the San Antonio Museum of Art.
In 1982, he took his act on the road with one-man theater performances. Frankly, B. Franklin was his first foray into the exhilarating realm of solo performance and his first in-depth exposure to Ben Franklin (if you overlook an earlier episode asFranklinin the musical 1776.) In 1985 he wrote and began performing a second solo show, Shakespeare Live! – resulting in him traveling with two alter-egos, Ben and Will—Benjamin Franklin and William Shakespeare—not bad company.
Since 1990, he has been living in the Adirondacks with the wife he met through the amorous influence ofSaranacLake’s Pendragon Theater and since 2001, has enthusiastically resumed a decades long affair with photography.
Photographically, the shift from film to digital happened for Burdette in 2001 and he has been diligently working to keep pace with this rapidly advancing technology ever since. Specializing in fine art landscape/nature work, he has had work showcased in numerous juried shows in the Adirondack region (photographs of his were awarded Best of Show in the Art’s Council of the Northern Adirondack’s 2009 Cover Art competition and an Honorable Mention in their 2011 show) and has been featured in numerous exhibits. As a relatively early convert to digital photography, Burdette has accumulated a vast store of information on this rapidly evolving medium and has been sharing his discoveries and enthusiasm through classes and workshops. And as a year-round resident in the endlessly scenicAdirondackPark, he is constantly striving to refine and improve his vision of this special landscape.
While people and theatre remain strong photographic interests, Burdette finds the natural studio of the Adirondacksa beguiling place to explore expanding photographic horizons. His web address is: www.roundlakestudios.com.
For further information about Pendragon’s gallery or any of the summer offerings, contact the theatre at 518-891-1854, on the web: pendragontheatre.org or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.