Mark Burrell

Magical Realism

Saturday 16th November to 15th December, 2019

Scroll to Introduction & CV

Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm or by appointment

Sizes quoted are of artworks. Where enquiries of prices are made on the gallery, the work is subject to availability and the price to change.
Boy in a Boat, 2015
Oil on Canvas Panel
15.5 x 10.5
Clouds Crossing a Suffolk Fair, 2015
Oil on Canvas Panel
59.5 x 50
Crossing the Bay, 2000
Oil on Canvas panel
50 x 70.5
Crossing the Bridge, 2015
Oil on Board
28 x 38
Early Spring, 2014 - 2017
Oil on Canvas Panel
33.5 x 25
Evening Dance, 2012
Oil on Canvas Panel
30 x 40
Evening Walk, 2008
Oil on Board
23.5 x 18.5
Fairground Sideshow, 1980 - 2015
Oil on Board
58.5 x 70
Firework Night, 2015
Oil on Canvas Panel
20.5 x 29
First Flight, 2016
Oil on Board
15.5 x 11
Football Under A Full Moon , 2007
Oil on Board
35 x 49.5
Girl at the Window, 1979 - 2018
Oil on Canvas Panel
62.5 x 74
Girl in a Winter Hat, 2018
Oil on Canvas Panel
45 x 34.5
Girl with A Rabbit, 2012
Oil on Canvas Panel
45 x 55
In the Valley, 2014
Oil on Board
10.5 x 15.5
Inherited Earth, 1988 - 2016
Water colour paper on board
35.5 x 38
Looking for Godot, 2000
Oil on Board
74 x 61
Mediterranean Kebab House, 2007
Oil on Board
59 x 70.5
Moon Watching, 2012
Oil on Board
35 x 44 
Night Sun Dreaming, 2017
Oil on Canvas Panel
10.5 x 15
Picnic in the Garden, 2003
Oil on Board
78 x 60
Rabbit Island, 2012
Oil on Board
41.5 x 23
Racing Starlings across the Bridge, 2015
Oil on Board
27.5 x 36.5
Round and Round we Go, 2015
Oil on Canvas Panel
44 X 55
Sailing to the Rainbow, 2016
Oil on Canvas Panel
15 x 10 
Sailing to The Sun, 2001
Oil on Board
48.5 x 60
Self Portrait with Mask, 2018
Oil on Board
49 x 54.5
Singing and Listening to the Pink Whispering Sea, 2019
Oil on Canvas Panel
39 x 49
Spirit Tree, 2000
Oil on Canvas Panel
40 x 30
The Dragon Boat Ride, 1980 - 2013
Oil on Board
55 x 79.5
The Healer Magician, 2013
Oil on Canvas Panel
70 x 60.5
The Journeyman, 2018
Oil on Canvas Panel
25 x 30 
The Old Town Dreams, 2019
Oil on Board
11 x 16 
The Painter Peter Rodulfo, 2018
Oil on Gesso Board
30 x 22.5 
The Peacock Goddess, 2018
Oil on Canvas Panel
75 x 62.5
The Rainbow Kite, 2017
Oil on Board
17 x 11.5
The Red Coat, 2018
Oil on Board
21.5 x 18.5
The Swan Boat, 2017
Oil on Canvas Panel
11 x 15.5
The Watchers (government bully boys), 2008
Oil on Board
59.5 x 73.5
Two Trees, 2011
Oil on Board
13.5 x 13
Visitation, 1990 - 2013
Oil on Board
29 x 32

Mark Burrell


Walk into a Mark Burrell painting and the viewer is held by a glow and vibrancy emanating like a magic pulse. This perfectly communicates the subject matter and sensation of his atmospheric worlds. At the heart is Burrell’s portrayal of emotion in its many subtle forms. His magic realism is woven with imagination and direct observation, conjuring up a world view seen from within. These creations express what it is to be human from the inside out, and in doing so, navigate an imaginative course between the subjective and objective. Burrell’s subject is the human condition, where feeling and emotion define not only the figures but also the space they inhabit.

There are real and imagined fairgrounds and circus folk, a theatre of life ever changing, just like real life. These fairgrounds are made of canvas, wood and metal, a merging of the past and present. Flags and balloons fly over blustery skies. You can almost smell the hotdogs and burnt onions mingling with candyfloss and the smoke of steam driven machines. Here the ‘merry-go-round’ goes around forever. Don’t be surprised to see Alice or her sister sitting with a giant rabbit!

In Firework Night there are fishermen's cottages, old brick walls and meandering paths to hidden places. Then there are a number of paintings where the sea appears. In one painting, a swan boat with children inside glides across a choppy bay with a sunset sky that reminds me of a giant whale floating past. In another, fish have come to listen to a family of singers. Many of these boats are homely like front rooms replete with jugs of flowers, teapots and TVs inside. This is where Burrell is at his most playful.

In the painting, Looking for Godot the man seems thoroughly weighed down by heavy wings gazing outwards. ‘People searchers’ is a recurring theme, with figures appearing either as individuals or groups in boats voyaging across distant seas. Do they find what they are searching for? The answer is an emphatic yes. In Picnic in the Garden very strange things are happening. For a start it looks more like a graveyard, perhaps an unusual place to have a tea party, and yet it has its own reality; nothing seems out of place or out of context. Girl at the Window has an entirely different atmosphere. Full of evening light, a girl looks out on abundant nature, stilled in the act of waving. This is a psychological landscape where inner and outer space interacts. It is not solitary or alone; it is connected, peaceful and serene.

Sometimes politics or environmental themes enter the work. In The Watchers (Government Bully Boys) the dark title speaks for itself. More optimistically, in Inherited Earth a boy is slowly turning what was once a toxic dumping ground back into a miniature ‘Garden of Eden’. Bits of bicycles, TVs and cut down living trees can be seen alongside exotic birds and newly planted flowers. Just above the boy is a carved angel. I take this to be a sign of great hope, although the smoking volcanoes do look a little ominous. Mark also paints the occasional portrait, three of which are in the exhibition – the painter, his partner and a close friend. These show sensitivity towards the sitters and they are painted with cooler more naturalistic colour.

Burrell’s magical paintings appear to have a narrative attached. They are like poetry. They should not be analysed too much, otherwise they lose this poetic quality. They have their own language that you appreciate just by looking. It is a world of atmosphere and feeling that seeks to evoke rather than define. Evenings, sunsets, moonlit skies and late afternoons predominate the work, with every sky being different.

Over time I have seen these intense works evolve, becoming lighter and richer in colour but with the same attention to detail that has always been his trademark. What makes the work holistic is that there is a timeless quality to it. I am reminded of old stained-glass windows (also one of his subjects) as light seems to glow out of the paintings. This jewel like appearance is achieved by many fine glazes using complementary colours. Most artists have a certain colour palette that is built up over time and Mark has certainly found his. I have yet to see another painter who uses colour in quite the way he does. The work is mostly on canvas panels, using oils and super fine brushes to create the detail, giving the paintings a strong presence. The paintings individually can take many months to create, rewarding the viewer’s eye by finding or sensing something new each time.

Mark is an established painter, who has been making art for over forty years. He is a leading member of ‘The North Sea Magical Realists’ with work appearing on television six times. As a matter of interest, he was interviewed by the popular Sister Wendy Beckett on Anglia Television’s ‘Moving Art’ programme hosted by George Melly, where his work was awarded First Prize and highly commended by Bill Oddie.

It has been my privilege to collaborate with Mark on several projects, in particular the feature documentary, Bendy Caravans & Everlasting Pens – a Portrait of Evered Wigg, where the light in his paintings is admirably demonstrated in the media of film.

To finish with Burrell’s words: “We live on a beautiful world surrounded by a magical universe, and it’s easy to forget our luck being here, when paying the bills or stuck in a traffic jam. If my paintings can remind us just a little of the strangeness, beauty, and mystery that we are and that surrounds us, then I will have done my job.”

Nick Murray Brown BA(Hons) actor, musician and documentary filmmaker
August 2019

Mark Burrell

1957 Born by the sea, in Lowestoft, Suffolk. He is selftaught


2016/2017 Mustard TV: Bendy Caravans and Everlasting Pens. Documentary by Nick Murray-Brown.

2006 Anglia Television: In the series Coastal Inspiration's

1990 Presenter Paul Gogarty: Interviewed in artist's studio and work exhibited

1996 BBC2 TV: Matter of Fact Cabbage Patch War: Paintings Exhibited

1996 1995 Anglia Television: The Front Row Arts Program: Paintings Exhibited throughout the series

1991 Anglia Television: Moving Art. Awarded First Prize. Presenter George Melly.
Interviewed by Sister Wendy Beckett: Prize awarded and highly recommended by Bill Oddie (November)

1991 Anglia Television: Personal Interview and Paintings Exhibited (August)

Achievements and Awards

2007 The Cut Halesworth, Suffolk – Prize Winner of 'The People's Choice' Christmas Show

2004 Lowestoft Arts Centre. First Prize - Architectual drawing

2006 Work shown at The House of Commons, London

1991/1999 Eastern Open, Kings Lynn, Norfolk - Paintings Highly Commended

1991 A View of the New - Royal Over-Seas League, London. Winner of The Lucy Morison Memorial Prize


2019 Chappel Galleries, Essex Magical Realism: Solo Exhibition
Easterly Artists - Lowestoft Heritage week Ferini Art Gallery, Suffolk: The Four Marks: Four Man Exhibition and video interview
Beccles Public Hall: Documentary ‘Bendy Caravans’ shown to the public

2018 Skipping's Gallery Great Yarmouth: Two Man Exhibition

2017 Tripp Art Gallery London - The North Sea Magical Realists: Three Man Exhibition
Buckingham Gallery, Southwold, Suffolk

2016 Buckingham Gallery, Southwold, Suffolk
The Electric Palace, Harwich, Essex: Documentary ‘Bendy Caravans’ shown to the public
Ferini Art Gallery, Suffolk

2015 Craft Co Art Gallery, Southwold, Suffolk: Two Man Exhibition

2014 Ferini Art Gallery, Suffolk: Solo Exhibition in December with a video interview
Great Yarmouth Library, Norfolk: Two Man Exhibition

2013 Assembly House Art Show 2013: Arts Alive Norwich, Norfolk

2012 West Halls Secret Postcard Auction Patron: Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge

2011 Assembly House Art Show: Flying Colors
Fascinating Forms, Norwich, Norfolk
Norwich Playhouse, Norfolk: Two Man Exhibition

2010 Eastern Open - Kings Lynn, Norfolk

2008 Norwich Castle Museum, Norfolk

2007 The Cut Halesworth: Solo Exhibition:Original drawings/paintings with excerpts from The Iron Bridge book

2005 Arts Forum Norwich: Norwich Market drawings exhibited
Eastern Open - Kings Lynn, Norfolk

2004 Ferini Art Gallery, Suffolk: Solo Exhibition.
Original drawings/paintings from The Iron Bridge book

2003 Cork Street Gallery, London
Seachange Gallery, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk: Solo Exhibition
Interart Gallery, New York, USA
Galleriart – Kirkcudbright, Scotland
Williamsburg Historical Art Centre, New York, USA

2002 Stoke by Nayland Golf Club, Suffolk

2001 Galerie de Vis Noorderhaven, Harlingen, Holland
Gissing Hall, Gissing, Norfolk: Portrait Works
Blackthorpe Barn, Roughman, Norfolk
John Russell Gallery, Ipswich, Suffolk

2000 Buckingham Galleries, Southwold: Summer & Christmas Show
The Affordable Art Fair, London
Galerie de Vis Noorderhaven, Harlingen, Holland
The Discerning Eye – The Mall Galleries, London

1999 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition (extended)
The Javits Center, New York Art Expo 99 - British Artists - New York City, USA
Galerie de Vis Noorderhaven, Harlingen, Holland
Lowestoft Town Hall, Council Chambers, Suffolk
Red Dot Gallery, Ipswich, Suffolk
Artists Gallery, Electric House, Ipswich
Halesworth Gallery, Steeple End

1998 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition

1997 The Minories Art Gallery, Colchester, Essex - Selectors: Griff Rhys Jones & Mark Wallinger
THE LAING, National Arts Competition, Raveningham, Norfolk

1996 Eastern Open, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Halesworth Gallery, Steeple End, Suffolk: Three Man Exhibition

1995 Le Chat Noir Gallery, Mayfair London
LOGOS Art Gallery, Bloomsbury, London
The Mall Galleries (Discerning Eye) London - Paintings Selected by: Julian Spalding, Art Gallery & Museum Director Glasgow, Edward Lucie-Smith Art Historian Writer & Critic
Oriel High School, Gorleston, Norfolk: Artist in Residence
Norwich Castle Museum, Norwich, Norfolk

1994 Regent Road Art Gallery, Lowestoft, Suffolk: Solo Exhibition
The Old Workshop Gallery, Corpusty, Norfolk: Three-Man Exhibition
The Fruit Market Gallery. 7th National Award, Edinburgh, and Sotheby's, New Bond Street, London: The Spectator

1993 Contact Gallery, Norwich: Three-Man Exhibition (The Human Condition)
Gallery 12 B Fredrikstad, Norway: Mixed Exhibition
Boundary Gallery, Cransford, Suffolk
Gallery 44, Aldeburgh, Suffolk: Solo Exhibition

1992 The Mall Galleries, London - Wilde Contemporary Art
The Splinter Gallery, London - Painters Today
The Gallery 74, South Audley St, London - Wilde Contemporary Art
Cork Brick Gallery, Bungay, Suffolk: Summer Exhibition
Chappel Galleries, Essex: Two Man Exhibition

1991 Eastern Open, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Chappel Galleries, Essex
Royal Over-Seas League London: A View of the New Exhibition.
Awarded the Lucy Morrison Memorial Prize for oil painting
The Splinter Gallery London: First Showing

1990 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition
Centre d'Art Contemporain, Rouen, France
The Knapp Gallery, London
The Halesworth Art Gallery, Steeple End, Suffolk: Three Man Exhibition
Norwich School of Art, Norfolk: Norwich Artists
The School House Gallery, Wighton, Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk

1989 Contact Gallery, Norwich, Norfolk: An Intensity of Vision: Four-Man Exhibition
Castle Museum, Norwich, Norfolk: Norwich 20 Group
Norwich Union Headquarters: Art Auction in the aid of the third world

1988 Mall Galleries, London. Britain's Painter's '88
Central Library, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk: Four-Man Exhibition
Christie's East Anglia Cley Mill Appeal: Assembly Rooms, Norwich, Norfolk

1987 The Royal Academy, London: Summer Exhibition

1979 Seagull Theatre, Suffolk: Solo Exhibition

1978 Regent Road Art Gallery, Lowestoft, Suffolk: Two Man Exhibition


1976 Lowestoft College, Suffolk: One-year foundation course

1972 to present date: Self taught


2019 Ness Point Art Workshop, Lowestoft, Suffolk

2017 Studio Group Visit: Talk about my paintings of Lowestoft with Waveney and Blyth Arts

1993/1994 Lowestoft College, Suffolk: Painting and drawing classes


2015 Painting commissioned for Bendy Caravans and Ever Lasting Pens: DVD cover

2013 The musical ‘The Magic Bookshop’ by Nick Murray-Brown: Poster and DVD cover

2012 Label designs painted for Trinity Ales Microbrewery

2006 Painting Commission ‘Lowestoft 1953 Floods’

2006 Album by The Yokels Too Close to Home CD cover and poster
Portrait commissions: Mrs. Hilton, Portrait of The Family, Portrait of a Young Girl


Lowestoft Maritime Museum, Suffolk: Permanent Collection
Private collections United Kingdom, Holland, USA, Italy, Germany


2019 Chappel Galleries: Magical Realism

2013 Assembly House, Norwich, Norfolk: Arts Alive

1997 The Minories and Christchurch: On the Border

1994 The Norwich Market, Norfolk

1991 A View of the New, Royal Over-Seas League, London

1987 Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition, London


1993/1989 Video of Artist's Work by Mike Toll


2018 Eastern Daily Press: article and image

2015 Tales of Ghostly East Anglia book cover, author Geoffrey Brock

2014 Venue Magazine: reviews/images Autumn and Summer Issue

2014 Lowestoft Journal: article and image

2014 Great Yarmouth Mercury: article and image

2014 Great Yarmouth Advertiser: article and image March issue

2004 East life: article and image

2004 Focus Magazine

2004 The Iron Bridge book, author John Ward: Illustrations/paintings, published by Ferini Designs

2003 The Art of Allotments, author David Crouch

2002 Waveney Advertiser: article and images November issue

2000 Eastern Daily Times: Review

1999 Lowestoft Now and Then: Authors Jack Rose and Dean Parkin

1990 Arts Spectales Critique, France

1994 Images Magazine: Review by Tony Collins, School of Art, Lowestoft College

1992 Images Magazine: article & image

1991 Lowestoft Journal: article & image

1987 The Leisure Painter Magazine: Royal Academy Summer Show Review