Ian Burgess is a remarkable self taught artist. Originally from the UK, Ian migrated to Australia in 2009 and at present resides in the picturesque city of Lake Macquarie, boasting the one of the largest salt water lagoons in the Southern Hemisphere. Ian proclaims living on Australian soil inspires his work in new intricate directions.

Acrylic and oil pastels on deep edge canvas
102cm (H) x 102cm (W) x 4cm (D)

“Even if I don’t directly portray a particular place on the canvas” he claims “it is my desire to express the ‘equivalent feeling’ on this patch of earth.” 


Ian’s interest in art developed from his appreciation of fine art photography. He particularly admired the plethora of shades of grey and captured light to dark shadow that resulted in a chiaroscuro effect. When Ian shifted to painting, his artworks ironically demanded colour “I usually struggle with toning down my bright palette.” He acknowledges.

Ian’s occasionally nuanced, sometimes bold semi-abstract to abstract style is completely unique. His self-taught art practice offers him total freedom of his expression to paint in whichever style he desires, reserving him from inheriting another artist's style. This affirms his utterly distinctive body of work.

Ian’s mostly utilised media is acrylic on canvas, his works are often ambiguous, alluding to landscape and abstract motifs. His colours vary from warm and exciting to a more simplistic array of black and white. The artist, however, predominantly uses an extensive mixing palette and is intricate in his use of colour + value relationships and whether they combine together. His series ‘Joy of Colour’ represents and celebrates the joyous feelings personified in the artwork's sensory feast. Ian's subject matter focuses on imaginary abstract and semi abstract landscapes.

“The semi abstract pieces typically have dark, moody skies and implied luminosity with strong side lighting and shadows. The aim is to convey an ethereal mood of wanting to be in the landscape, to feel it seeping through the soles of my shoes and enjoy a place to wander and wonder. Implicit is my dialogue with what is shown and that which is partially hidden."

Deconstructed Landscape
Acrylic, Ready to hang
60.5cm (W) x 91cm (H) x 3.5cm (D)

Recently, Ian has proceeded to his artwork leaning toward his more abstract style. Revealing underlying layers of an exuberant palette and exuding fluidity of shapes whilst straying far from design motifs of realism. Ian's series Deconstructed communicates the landscape far more intuitively where he lets go mentally and physically and freehandedly paints with uninterrupted shapes and lines. Ian claims engaging this way with his compositions is invigorating and thus makes him feel alive.

Deconstructed Landscape II
Acrylic on Canvas
91cm (W) x 60.5cm (H) x 3.8cm (D) 

Coming soon to the Whitfield Collection gallery is Deconstruction.

"Deconstruction is my first foray into monochrome art in which I develop my love of light and dark value relationships in paint; and other media combined with compositional shapes and textures to create a cohesive work without colour.
I left my comfort zone of colours in acrylic on canvas and just used black, white, silver and shades of grey on heavyweight paper working intuitively with acrylic paint, oil pastels and charcoal layering as I go to produce various surface textures.
I love to touch the surface of my paintings and this one is a joy because I have also added glossy and matte finishes all over this piece in an attempt to instil a deep visceral conviction with a tactile vibe for the viewer to feel and enjoy."


Mixed media on heavyweight paper
80cm (H) x 62cm (W) x 3cm (D)


Find Ian's new collection on the Whitfield Collection gallery, launching soon.

May 14, 2022 — Tahlia Whitfield-Rogers

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