Against the Dark

Rebecca J Burman

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Hi! My name is Rebecca J Burman and I am on a journey into the world of visual art.

By trade, until now, I have been a musician, but after a period of poor mental health in 2014, when I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, I hit rock bottom and was no longer able to function. Dark times followed as I tried to learn, firstly, what was going on in my brain, and secondly, how I was going to live with it.
Books gave me the answer to the former, but learning to live with poor mental health is a longer process.
The day I was diagnosed, by chance, a friend posted an advert asking for knitted baby blankets for the Norfolk and Norwich ICU. This was the beginning of my creative journey, it gave me a purpose, a reason, and a method of occupying my brain.
Followed, hours of walking, my first project, taking photographs. Searching to capture places where the exquisitely, naturally beautiful met the man-made unsightly, either wilfully or by simple neglect.
I discovered the need, and also a means, to express such conflicts and dissonance creatively.
I wrote short stories and poems, and then those texts developed into textile work. I started art classes and found I could draw and paint. I became a student at Leeds College of Art (one night a week) and this was just the beginning.

In April 2017 I was awarded a Katherine McGillivray Get A Life Trust fund, in order to take time out of my everyday life and work, to develop my skills further, exploring, in-depth, new ways to express myself creatively outside, and alongside, my music. Through spending time fully immersing myself in the work of other visual artists, learning, practicing, and giving myself the crucial time and space needed to develop new work.