Resilience

Artist Richard Burke’s opening reception was Sept. 3 for his solo show ‘Resilience’ in Pinedale’s Mystery Print Gallery. Burke stands to the right in profile.

Hunting for truth in nature

Richard Burke’s fascination

to reveal the nature of the birds

of prey he shapes from clay, wood, stone

and bronze is embedded within his chosen

materials, bringing a depth of character to

his now-still subjects, perched on stands at

Mystery Print Gallery in Pinedale.

Burke’s solo show “Resilience” opened

with a reception on Thursday, Sept. 3, attended

by other artists, friends and family

outside and in the gallery owned by David

Klarén. From stylized, sleek larger hunters

in highly polished granite and siltstone to

smaller scruffy owls in bronze, the collection

demands to be explored up close.

Burke explained how he began the

sculptures for “Resilience” in 2019 with

three particular large blocks of stone that

let the artist know what they wanted to be.

These are The Raven, The Barn Owl

and The Peregrine – the last from a gray

block of granite he brought home from

Fremont Lake and the first two from

Lander’s siltstone layer in the Chugwater

Formation.

“Siltstone is finer than sandstone,” he

said of their high glossy surfaces. “It’s basically

mineralized mud.”

On the other hand, the Fremont Lake

Resilience

Hunting for

truth in nature

By Joy Ufford,

[email protected]

granite’s peregrine “took forever – about

$200 worth of diamond grinders” before

the falcon emerged. Another totally different

piece is the work-in-progress of a barn

owl still in the clay-shaping stages before

being cast that reigns over the gallery.

Speaking on the theme of “resilience”

and his kinship with falcons, owls and

hawks, Burke points out it is “exhausting”

to deal with “the complexity of the human

situation.”

Humans’ discord, misperceptions and

fallacies don’t stand up to the “simplicity

of nature,” he writes. “The birds I observed

were true to themselves. They have

nothing to sell. Even a tiny kestrel is sure

of its place and concise in its purpose.”

“Resilience” refers to the character and

strength of these preying hunters, he says,

knowing in the end “birds of prey will quietly

stay true to themselves.”

Richard Burke’s show “Resilience” will

be displayed through September at Mystery

Print Gallery, 221 S. Sublette Ave.,

Pinedale, 307-749-3473. Gallery hours

are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday,

12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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