Cliff Burtt has an extensive arts practice with academic history in Swinburne Institute of Technology, RMIT and the Monash Gallery of Art. He has been exhibiting since 1985 and worked with councils and corporations for Public Art commissions across Victoria and Tasmania since 1991. Burtt’s work has been on display in the National Gallery of Victoria and is collected across Australia, Europe and the USA.
“My work over a number of years has centered on and added to two bodies of work: sculptures that incorporate landscape and architectural elements; and pieces that relate to scientific models and instruments. In both bodies of work the notion of time is fundamental: our attempts to measure and master it, and the effects wrought by time on our concepts and structures and the societies that shape us. suggests the action of time, of materials or objects that have undergone decay.
Landscape and the built environment have been an abiding concern in my art practice. Our continent's unique geography, fauna and flora have shaped countless generations of its inhabitants; overlaid on this is the relatively recent infusion of cultural ideas and artifacts. A number of these works deal with the results and possibilities of these linkages and dislocations.
The paradigm which has shaped the modern world, that of natural philosophy - science- and its comcomitant engineering technologies, begins with the investigation and measurement of phenomena. The works presented here are especially concerned with the modelling of physical systems and optical equipment. A number of these pieces effectively reverse- engineer the aesthetics of the instruments used, to draw out the poetics of the means employed by our forebears, an alchemy of physics”
Cliff Burtt, 2017