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Tim Burns credits Dr. Seuss and Alexander Calder as two important sources for his work. A comparison between the wonderfully fluid illustrations of Dr. Seuss and the delightful wire creatures who inhabit Calder's "Circus" confirms their influence upon him.

Burns' animated Stick Figures - Lost and Found Objects, like the images by Dr. Seuss and Calder, belong to a unique society of individuals whose form and attitude suggest a world that is foreign from ours, yet remarkably similar. The figures, both humorous and haunting, recall the characters from traditional fairy tales who commented on the foibles of an adult world while clothed as children, animals, and other creatures.

The dark and enigmatic wooden skeletal structures adorned with plastic patches of color at first appear macabre. However, the rhythm of the bodies in constant motion soon commands the viewer's attention. Their celebratory dance is positive and uplifting.

The Stick Figures were originally built of driftwood or roots, discovered by the artist during long walks. Burns selected the materials because of their shapes, choosing pieces that immediately suggested a body in motion. The early figures, according to the artist, had a shamanistic quality, evoking the healing powers believed by many to be inherent in materials that come from the earth. The idea of healing was further promoted by Burns who created spaces for the root people which he called "spirit canoes".

Burns eventually attached manmade debris of plastic and metal to the wooden bodies. Clothing and accessories of brightly colored plastic and wire give his Stick Figures a more human quality.Their plastic and rubber apparel, cleansed and altered by sun, wind and water, is loosely attached with wire and rubber binding turned inside out as if the skeletal structure exists on the body's exterior. The visual tension created by the binding elements contributes directly to the humanizing qualities of grace and movement that Burns gives to his bevy of exotic figures.


14 x 16 x 3

Tar Baby
16 x 6 x 4

Queen Bee
11 x 5 x 3

14 x 11 x 8

Carman Comea A Calling
15 x 11 x 5

Click here for an esay by Jim Fisher

Jim Fisher is the Executive Director of Visual Aid.

Skip Your Lou
14 x 11 x 5
Man with Green Bambi
15 x 6 x 7
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Other Artists in "Scavengers and Seers"