Ursula Burke's work explores abuses of power in many realms of the social and political in the West. Often, taking a Northern Irish context as a critical point of departure from which to generalise her approach outwards to international concerns. Formally, her work appropriates tropes deeply invested in the Classical, and re-inserts them in the contemporary, aiming to create a conceptual bridge between the Classical 'ideal' (in form/society) and the 'reality' of contemporary post-conflict Northern Irish society. The Precariat brings together a body of work that seeks to investigate the experience of insecurity, fast becoming a universal condition as we struggle to subsist in an impoverished and increasingly unstable civil society, in which personal solutions are prescribed to global problems.
Ursula Burke is an Irish artist who works in a variety of media including Porcelain Sculpture, Embroidery and Drawing. Much of her Fine Art practice deals with issues of Representation and Identity within contemporary Ireland and she completed a practice based PhD at the University of Ulster, Belfast exploring these themes.
During March 2018 she won the Golden Fleece Award, the Visual Artists Ireland Suki Tea Award which grants her an artist residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris and she was also awarded a Windgate Craft Artists Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Centre, U.S.A. She undertook an artist residency and exhibition with the Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, Jan - April 2017 and was awarded the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British School at Rome Fellowship in 2014. She is Joint Prize Winner of the Claremorris Open, Ireland 2015.
She is an artist member of Outland Arts, Fermanagh and Associate Academician of the Royal Ulster Academy, Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has taken part in the following exhibitions internationally: Resurgence, Hillyer Arts Space, Washington, USA 2016; Irish Wave, Birth of a Nation, San Wei Gallery, Beijing, China ; Displacements – The Trouble with being Human these Days, Ex Elettrofonica Gallery, Rome ; Roman Remains, Transition Gallery, London ; Arafudo Art Annual, Fukushima, Japan ; Art of the Troubles, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK ; SCOPE New York, represented by Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland & Art International, Istanbul, represented by Ex Elettrofonica Gallery, Rome.
Recent solo Projects/Exhibitions include representation at Supermarket Art Fair Stockholm by Ormston House Limerick, March 2017/ ‘Vestiges’ at Ormston House, Limerick September 2016 & ‘Vestige’ at the Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, during May 2016. She undertook a major solo exhibition titled ‘Hope for a Better Past’ with the MAC Belfast, 2013 and worked with the National
Portrait Gallery London on ’National Memories local Stories’ project during the same year. Future projects include; The Precariat, a solo exhibition at the RHA Dublin; On a Pedestal, the Office of Public Works Dublin; The Big Houses Project, curated by Mary Cremin for Galway Capital of Culture 2020; a three venue co-production exhibition with Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris/ the Ulster Museum, Belfast and Visual - Carlow, Ireland; an artist residency at Vermont Studio Centre and CCI, Paris.
Her work is part of the collection of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Museum Collection, Belfast, the Office of Public Works, Ireland, the Harbour Commission Northern Ireland Ireland and in private collections nationally and internationally