About Mel Burgum

Mel BurgumAn artist based in the Cardiff area of South Wales.

Mel Burgum grew up in the village of Llangattock in Powys.

“Pencils and Paper were as essential as coal for the fire at home or sandwiches and a flask on our family days out at the seaside. My mother recalls that I would scribble and scrawl for hours at end wherever we were. I have some memory of this magical and private Lakeland pencil world. I consider myself very fortunate to have lived in that world ever since.”

On leaving Brecon Boys Grammar School in 1970, he began Graphic Design studies at Hereford College of Art.
“ I was pretty naïve on my first day. I thought that I might get to be taught to paint better. Instead, Letter spacing, Packaging, Window Dressing, Printmaking, and some weird unheard of thing called Graphic Design.”

In 1973, he had an opportunity to produce a number of illustrations for the Observer Supplement, and this led to three years in London continuing to work as a freelance illustrator.
“It took me a year to get into London. The next year I enjoyed perhaps a little too much, and I couldn't see myself anywhere else. In the last year I was missing the country far too much. I found myself getting emotional watching Jack Hargreaves presenting Out of Town”.

An offer from the BBC Wales Graphic Design Department of the post of Graphic Artist enabled a return to his homeland. He later became a Graphic Designer and Art Director for the BBC, and was creating for many notable productions.
“ I think I joined the BBC at the best time. Real filmmakers performing their skills. Perhaps a little profligate in terms of time, but people who would not compromise their art for anyone. “

Mel worked in this capacity until he elected to return to the freelance world in 2003. Though Mel continues to illustrate and design for the BBC, mainly for DR WHO and TORCHWOOD, he has revisited his love of fine art and now works on commissions and his own projects.

One of these projects “The Thirties Revisited” is a series of paintings inspired mainly by the travel posters of that era. They look at sometimes the glamour but also a feeling of gentler days. They evoke certainly the atmosphere of those times, however still exhibit a contempory quality. Four of these paintings have been converted to high quality prints by the very well respected Art Production House, Collier & Dobson, and a new series is on their way to them for the new season. www.collierdobson.com

€I like old things. I live in a very ancient cottage, and I've accumulated an excess of old cars, tractors and motorbikes. I have a thing about anything that looks and feels as if a true craftsman has put breath on it.
That's why I have an unnecessary amount of watches, fountain pens and proper cameras.” “It's why I keep getting drawn to paint in styles from the past. They seem to me to have a legitimacy that defies the passing years. I remember picking up a book on Frank Lloyd Wrights' work and being staggered at his masterpiece “Falling Water”. This was built in 1936 and continues to inspire architects today. Old can be good and it's well worth revisiting and rejuvenating.”

Mel has had a very successful past year with a very effective exhibition at Oriel Ty Coch Gallery in Pontcanna in Cardiff, and a series of paintings and limited edition prints at The Washington Gallery in Penarth.
Tel: 01446 760084