The Canadian Art Database

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
Toronto Canada 2013
[Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006 to 2013]

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photo: Jordan Ellis

Simon Frank - Hamilton, Canada

Burrman, 2013
Performance Art

45 - Roaming project, 221 King Street West

[ photographs ]  [ video ]

Fusing his landscape-based contemporary art practice with an ancient ritual, Simon Frank will cover himself in burrs, the ingenious hooked seed of the Burdock plant, and walk a meandering route throughout the Financial District. Frank had already used burrs as a material for sculpture since 1996, prior to learning of the wonderfully strange “Burryman” tradition, which takes place annually in a small town in Scotland near where the artist was born. Although the ritual has existed for over 900 years, the original purpose of the tradition has been forgotten and lost to antiquity. Many people believe that the only way to rediscover its meaning is to discontinue it to see what happens. A similar sense of rediscovery may occur as the artist enacts the ritual for first time in North America for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013.

Burrman is a primal action that delves into our collective memory and provokes awareness of the delicate relationship between humans and the natural environment that sustains us. Recognition of these connections lies just beneath the surface, waiting like a dormant seed for the right elements, until it can return to our understanding once more.

By utilizing a diversity of approaches that incorporate natural and man-made materials, Frank makes important connections between a broad range of artistic traditions that link us to nature, while examining the social responsibility of those of us living in urban, industrialized environments. He has exhibited projects across Canada.

Thank you to John Nicol and TH&B

Toronto Culture / Scotiabank