Juxtaposing the literal and the abstract, the material and the conceptual, Rowan Burkam's work considers phenomenological chronologies, rhythms, symbols and spatial geometries that engage perspective and perceptual transformations. Working with mediums such as wood, paper, concrete, painting, video and installation, Burkam embraces both surface and dimension. By investigating patterns of space as well as thought, Burkam asks "What perceptual biases can we disrupt to shift our perspective? What new ideas, new words and new languaes can shift our perspective and evolve our understanding.
Rowan Burkam was born in Peterborough New Hampshire and raised in the United Kingdom where he earned an art “A” level certificate from the Reigate School of Art. In 2000 he apprenticed with the Native American artist and sculptor Cloud Eagle at his studio in Nambe, NM, exposing himself to indigenous art and beliefs. After moving to Los Angeles in 2001 to study 3D animation, he landed a job with for the art director Keith Greco, helping produce exclusive events and parties. Between 2008-2010 he worked for the fashion and furniture designer Rick Owens at his atelier in Paris where he gained insight and experience from the world of high art, fashion and design. After returning to the states in 2011 he shot and produced a documentary in Guatemala and two independent films, Archangel and Nebuchadnezzar, based in Los Angles and Switzerland. His art was also included in a group show at the Here is Elsewhere Gallery in Los Angeles in 2012. In 2013 he began working toward a BFA in Intermedia at Arizona State University and got hired as an art handler at the ASU art museum. During this time he has continued to work with film and video, focusing on artist profiles and discussing artists identities in relation to the development of their work. He graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University in May 2016.
In between personal art projects Rowan does work producing and installing art as a freelancer. This has included installing public art projects for the city of Scottsdale, creating sets for video shoots in Los Angeles, working on concrete furniture for RIck Owens in France and doing custom carpentry on an installation piece headed to burning man. For the last few years he has also helped with production at Form festival, where he often installs his art. He also does video projects, primarily interviews and profile pieces on visiting and local artists. Last year he completed a video project with the artist Luis Villalobos, from Guadalajara, Mexico. The video he produced in collaboration with the artist was shown at the Scottsdale museum of contemporary art as well as at the contemporary art museum in Guadalajara. Other previous experience includes producing custom concrete furniture in London, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. Collaborating on art installations in New York, Los Angles and Paris and producing several independent film projects. Rowan is currently an artist living in the White Mountains of Arizona.