'Freeway', Deborah Burnstone

Painting of an urban landscape

2009, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 92 x 121.5 cm

Artist's statement

Freeway is part of a series of paintings that explores roads and motorways. I grew up in the suburbs of London and roads and motorways were the landscape of my childhood. I am fascinated by their generality and dreary glamour. I work from my own photographs and pictures downloaded from the internet.

I painted Freeway after visiting Miami. I was struck by the complexity of the road networks there and the way they have redrawn the shoreline and landscape. The toxic colours of the painting reflect the artificiality of the terrain. While my paintings are based on real places, they are as much about marks, shapes,
colour and texture as the conveying of an atmosphere.

Painting is a push-pull between control and letting go. When a painting works something emerges that is in part beyond my control; equally sometimes the whole thing can fall to pieces. While an armoury of techniques, marks and materials is useful it also brings with it the threat of dreaded familiarity. So with each painting something new has to emerge or else the paintings are copies or editions and nothing has really happened - at least
nothing surprising or unexpected.


Deborah Burnstone was born in London in 1961 and grew up in Wembley and Camden Town. She studied Fine Art in London at Camberwell College 1995-96 and Goldsmiths College 1996-99, and attended the Morley College Advanced Painting Workshop 2006-09. Her work has been included in group shows including 'This is Paint - Contemporary Connections' Morley Gallery London
2008, '13 Painters: The Way We See It' Morley Gallery 2009 and 'Summer Exhibition' Royal Academy of Arts London 2009.