Born in London, Peter Burke trained as a jig and tool designer with Rolls Royce in Bristol after leaving school. He then attended Art College and subsequently became a Foundation Course lecturer in 3D Art and Design. He maintained his practice as an artist throughout and, since 1994, has given his time fully to his work as a sculptor.
In the mid 1980's, after a long period of involvement in non-figurative sculpture, Burke wanted to make contact with the western figurative tradition using means that reflected his environment and experience. His engineering background has informed his working practice, which is evident in his employment of industrial processes and materials. In many of his works he seeks to explore our relationship with the inescapable facts of mass-production and standardisation that are ever-present in our culture, bearing in mind that reproductive technology has been at the centre of sculptural practice since the founding civilisations of western culture. Central to his work is the idea of a human presence. It explores man’s predisposition to recognise and read the human form with an intensity that accords to no other visual activity.
Peter Burke has exhibited since 1973 in mixed and solo shows at New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury, CASS Sculpture Foundation London and Goodwood, “Concepts for 21st Century Sculpture at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, and has featured regularly in British and overseas galleries. He has also shown work at Art Basel and shown in museums overseas. His work is in private collections in Britain, Europe, US and the Far East and has been acquired by the Contemporary Art Society, London (Henry Moore Foundation Purchase). On leaving his teaching post in 1994, he became an Artist in Residence at a scrap metal reclamation yard funded by Southern Arts. In 1995, Burke was awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Award and, in 2005, he was awarded the Diane Middlebrook Fellowship at the Djerassi Artists Program, California. He lives and works in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.
Quickly approaching Peter Burke's third solo exhibition at Andipa Gallery in November 2015, we take a look back at his giant work entitled 'Janus Head'in Goodwood, UK, commissioned by the Cass Sculpture Foundation in 2009.