Edward Rupert Burrowes
|Edward Rupert Burrowes|
|Known for||Working People's Art Class|
Edward Rupert Burrowes (1903–1966) was an artist and art teacher who founded the Working People's Art Class (WPAC), the first established art institution in Guyana. The E R Burrowes School of Art, an undergraduate institution accredited by the University of Guyana, is named after him.
Burrowes was born in Barbados in 1903, of African origin. He arrived in Guyana as a young child. His father worked for the privately owned Daily Chronicle. After his father's death, the family had little money to live on. When Burrowes left primary school he became a tailor's apprentice. He continued to study from books, and passed examinations in English Language and Literature, English History, and Scripture. He passed the City and Guilds examinations at an unusually young age, and was able to open his own tailoring shop.
Artist and teacher
Burrowes was interested in art from an early age, and had natural talent. Unable to afford to buy paints, he worked out how to make them using tailor’s chalk. He was a frequent visitor to the Georgetown Museum, and was fascinated by the Indian artifacts and displays of Guyanese geology that he saw there. The British Guiana Arts and Crafts Society (BGACS) was formed in 1932, and Burrowes became a member. The established BGACS members were impressed by the talent he displayed in his landscape and genre paintings. The latter depicted working-class people in everyday scenes.
Burrowes began teaching Working Peoples' Free Art Class, which influenced artists such as Dr Denis Williams. His goal was to give ordinary working people an opportunity to develop their artistic talents. Burrowes founded the WPAC in 1948. In 1949 he received a British Council scholarship which let him attend the Brighton College of Art, where he specialized in block printing. When he returned after a year, he was appointed Art teacher at the Government Teachers’ Training College. In 1954 Burrowes was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire for services to art in British Guiana. In 1956 he was teaching Art and Art History at Queen's College. He died in 1966.
In 1947 Donald Locke attended a class taught in Georgetown by Burrowes, which inspired him to take up painting. Writing about Burrowes in the 1966 Guyana Independence Issue of New World, Locke describes how he was constantly engaged in "technical exploration", including making his own paints from unlikely ingredients and conducting experiments "with balata, buckram, tailor's canvas, rice bags, bitumen, concrete and ... clay mixed with molasses." Denis Williams called him "the Barbadian who fathered the plastic arts in Guyana in terms of a European ancestry."
The WPAC helped a number of Guyanese artists at the start of their career. Stanley Greaves attended the WPAC with Locke as a teenager and later became well known.Emerson Samuels was another artist who studied at the WPAC. The painter Aubrey Williams studied with E. R. Burrowes in the Working People's Art Class after returning from a two-year term with the Agriculture department in which he had lived with indigenous people in the jungle. In 1987, Williams described Burrowes as "a genius" who "opened the Guyanese eyes to art, in its aesthetic sense".
- E.R Burrowes School Of Art.
- Walmsley 1996, p. 263-264.
- Roopnaraine 2005, p. 48.
- Greaves 2007.
- Walmsley 1996, p. 267.
- Brief on the Burrowe's School of Art.
- Dabydeen 2010, p. 169.
- Central Chancery....
- Renowned Artist....
- Walmsley 2004.
- Samuels made....
- Williams & Walmsley 1990, p. 106.
- Araeen 1987, p. 27.
- "Brief on the Burrowe's School of Art". Burrowes School of Art. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood". The London Gazette. 1 January 1954. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Dabydeen, David (2010-03-31). Denis Williams, a Life in Works: New and Collected Essays. Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-2791-6. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "E.R Burrowes School Of Art". Ministry of Culture. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Greaves, Stanley (25 November 2007). "Origin of the working class contribution to the development of art in Guyana". Stabroek News. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Renowned Artist/Sculptor Donald Locke passes away". Kaieteur News. December 7, 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- Roopnaraine, Rupert (2005-05-01). Primacy of the eye: the art of Stanley Greaves. Peepal Tree Press. ISBN 978-1-900715-86-7. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Samuels made a distinguished contribution to Guyanese art —Castellani House". Stabroek News. August 17, 2003. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Walmsley, Anne (1996). "Bridges of Sleep - Continental and Island Inheritance in the Visual Arts of Guyana". A Talent(ed) Digger: Creations, Cameos, and Essays in Honour of Anna Rutherford. Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-5183-964-7. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- Araeen, Rasheed (1987). "Conversation with Aubrey Williams". Third Text 1 (2): 25–52.