Stephen Burke

lives and works in Dublin

About Stephen Burke ... more >

Stephen Burke is a visual artist from Dublin, Ireland with a background in painting (MA, GSA, 2018) and printmaking (B.A NCAD, 2016). He received a first class honour's degree from the GSA. Burke co-authored the book 'Buff', which investigates graffiti removal as an artistic process. 'Buff' contributed greatly to the academic discourse on this topic and was published with an accompanying exhibition at The Library Project in 2017. 'Buff' was later translated into a documentary in collaboration with Irish film maker, Sean Clarke, and was debuted at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in 2019 with the support of both Atelier Maser Gallery and Offset Festival. Later that year, Stephen completed a residency at Atelier Maser and displayed the resulting works at a solo show within the gallery. Most recently, he completed a six month residency in Berlin with Urban Nation. During this time he further developed the project 'Post-Vandalism', which is accessible on social media (@post_vandalism) and explores both the academics and aesthetics of graffiti related contemporary art and fosters support from a wide international community. Stephen’s time in Berlin culminated with an exhibition where he presented six new paintings. Burke is currently working towards the release of his new book titled ‘Post-vandalism’.


Stephen's ambitions are to highlight a new visual understanding within our built environment and to scrutinize the cultural divide between street and gallery. Stephen’s most recent body of work examines various methods of communication found in public space, in this case – focusing on 'tactile tiles' and sprayed construction markings.
Tactile tiles are a system of textured ground surfaces found on stairs, footpaths and train stations among other places. These tiles signal messages or warnings to visually impaired pedestrians and are interpreted through their spacing and texture. For example, the bright yellow textured pavement found at train stations signifies a stop code, as there is a steep drop ahead. Stephen was drawn to use this material due to its high level of visual texture and to show how we communicate through touch, a sensitivity which has been lost in recent times.

In 1976, construction workers accidentally cut into a petroleum pipe beneath the pavement in California, leading to a large explosion. This accident was the catalyst for 'the systemization of critical colour coded utility markings'. These markings are deciphered by construction workers daily and denote various meanings. For example: Blue marks signal water pipes and yellow signifies gas, whereas red marks show electricity cables. These sprayed markings exemplify another kind of communication, one concerned with language. With this new body of work, Burke forms testimonials to these two visual languages by creating tactile images which are imbued with the aura of the street.



born in Dublin
Mono & Lino Print Workshop - Tallaght Community Arts Centre, Dublin
BA in Print-making (hons), National College of Art & Design (NCAD), Dublin
Appointed Artist Curator, Creative Campus, RUA RED, Dublin
Founding member of The Glasgow School of Art's Self publishing Society, Glasgow
Screen Print Workshop - Deanswrath and Killinarden Community Colleges, Rua Red, Dublin
Co-Director - Tallaght Young Filmakers, Rua Red, Dublin
Artist Talk - 'The Art of Graffiti Removal', Rua Red, Dublin
MLitt in Fine Art Painting (hons), Glasgow School of Art (GSA), Glasgow
Founder – Post-vandalism social media archive
Placement at Open/Close Dundee, UK
Residency, Atelier Maser, Dublin
Mosaic Workshop, Urban Nation, Berlin
Artist Talk - ‘Buff’, RHA, Dublin
Curator - D24: A Users Manual, Rua Red, Dublin
Residency, Urban Nation X Stiftung Berliner Leben, Berlin
... more >

Selected Solo and Group Exhibitions

2022 Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne (G)
2021 ART MATTERS 3, Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne (G, online)
2020 Malagacha Gallery, Strasbourg (G)
90 Bulowstrasse, Berlin (G)
2019 Utility, Atelier Maser, Dublin (S)
RHA, Dublin (G)
2018 Graduate Degree Show, The Tontine Building, Glasgow (G)
Dornoch St Project Space, Glasgow (G)
39 Trongate, Glasgow (G)
The Pipe Factory, Glasgow (G)
Mount Florida Gallery & Studios, Glasgow (G)
Crown Point Studios, Glasgow (G)
2017 The Law Society of Ireland, Dublin (G)
The Library Project, Dublin (G)
SO Fine Art, Dublin(G)
Rua Red, Dublin (G)
The Tara Building, Dublin (G)
The Fumbally Exchange, Dublin (G)
SO Fine art, Dublin (G)
2016 12 Tara St, Dublin (G)
Soma Waterford, Waterford (G)
The Mart, Dublin (G)
NCAD Graduate Showcase, Dublin (G)
2015 The Box, NCAD, Dublin (G)
Pallas Project Studios, Dublin (G)
South Studios, Dublin (G)
The Mart, Dublin (G)

Selected Press


Selected Publications

  • Bua - Co-published with Lou Rowland under Bua, 2018
  • Buff - Project Co-manager, Published by 1815, 2017
  • 1815 Magazine Issue 7 - Contributing Artist, Published by 1815, 2017
  • IN PLACE Photobook - Contributing Artist, 2016
  • Buff precursor zine - co-published with Fiachra Corcoran, 2016




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