Tim Burns has forged a long career at the helm of underground and experimental art practice. His work typically responds to his immediate surroundings, with his interventions usually created live in the public sphere, rather than quietly crafted in the privacy of a studio setting.
Born in the remote Wheatbelt town of Cunderdin, Western Australia, multidisciplinary artist Tim Burns has forged a long career at the helm of underground and experimental art practice.
The early years of his practice saw the artist accrue a number of arrests and shut downs on account of his controversial performance installations involving explosives. This eventually prompted his move to New York in the 1970s, where he remained for the next two decades, working predominantly in film. Today, the artist calls home his rural property near the town of York, Western Australia.
Celebrated artist Robert Juniper mentored Tim in painting in his school years and subsequently became a lifelong friend. While Tim has painted steadily throughout his life, he holds no allegiance to any one medium, also working across sculpture, performance, video and theatre. He refers to himself as a ‘context artist’: his work typically responds to his immediate surroundings, with his interventions usually created live in the public sphere, rather than quietly crafted in the privacy of a studio setting.
Tim's work consistently puts forward a critique of the hypermediated and industrialised western society. Since his return to the Wheatbelt, the division seen in contemporary Australia between Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships to Country has become a central theme in his work.
Burns has been exhibited in numerous major shows and art institutions worldwide, including The Beaubourg Paris, ICA London, ICA Boston, MOMA New York, The Hirschorn Museum Washington, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Gallery of Australia and the Sydney Biennale.