Andrew Burns Colwill’s new show 20/50 Vision: Tomorrow’s Habitat opens at It’s All 2 Much Gallery in Stokes Croft on 20 May.
This will be a powerful exhibition which explores the consequences the choices that mankind has made for our planet, ourselves and our children. He says: “The show title, 20/50 vision, is a play on the term 20/20 vision and how my life experience has given me a slightly warped perspective of the world. 20/50 vision for me has 2 aspects; firstly a point of view that sometimes makes people a little uncomfortable but offers a wider and alternative perspective to the norm, and secondly my interpretation of how we as a species may be faring socially and economically by the year 2050.”
Andrew was one of the first street artists in Bristol (when you could only buy spray paint in garages). Now just over 60 he has brings a wisdom to his work as well as great talent. Of this exhibition Colwill adds: ‘’All works are produced with acrylics, brushes, rollers, rags, fingers etc onto canvas and board with not a spray can in sight.’
Like many artists before and since Bristol born Andrew Burns Colwill was a tearaway in his teens. The only way teachers could stop him from being disruptive was to leave him occupied at the back of the class to draw and paint. Though leaving school without qualifications his talent meant he always worked in art from painting backdrops and scenic work for TV and theatre or on the streets. At one point four buildings on Bristol’s (then popular punk scene Park Street) were canvases for his work. Always a prolific artist he was constantly creating new work. In the early days he used untreated canvas, developing techniques using curtain linings stretched over hand made frames and household paints just to get he work out there. In the 80’s he played in punk bands, painted 100’s of paintings and created a spectacular exhibition at Ashton Court Mansion in 1988 with over a 1,000 visitors. Those were the heady times which were fuelled and then broken by a time of addiction. However, Burns Colwill was not defeated like many of his friends of the time who did not make it through. He recovered through rehab and took himself to Greece to escape ‘the scene’.
Andrew has been back in Bristol for a few years now, and the mediums he was experimenting with in the early days including soak stain techniques have become his preferred tools. He is constantly developing and currently doing some amazing work on split ply wood into the individual sheets giving his work a greater depth and perspective. He is producing fifteen new pieces for his latest show 20/50 Vision: Tomorrow’s Habitat. Perhaps it is that depth and perspective which now defines his work. His work is subtle, reflective, not obvious – a viewer has to work at his painting and is rewarded with hidden insights, environmental, political and social commentary and humour. This can be seen in three of his pieces for the new show ‘Polar Bear’ and ‘Waiting for the Freeze’ showing polar bears and penguins on a car and car battery instead of ice, and ‘The Allotment’ where farms are no longer idyls of the countryside but protected by watch towers and an AK 47. Andrew Burns Colwill’s latest exhibition 20/50 Vision can be seen at It’s All 2 Much from 20 May to 4 June 2017 Opening Times • Thursday 12:00 – 18:00 • Friday 1200 – 18:00 • Saturday 13:00 – 19:00 Address: 11 – 13 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3PY