A New Normal: Artwork part of Rua Red permanent collection

By Aideen O'Flaherty

Denis Burke, an experienced filmmaker, photographer and musician, saw his artwork ‘A New Normal’ on display at Rua Red’s Winter Open exhibition last year.

In keeping with their policy to support artists, the arts centre recently purchased the piece that will now be part of their permanent collection.

Denis Burke 32 1

IT Tallaght graduate Denis Burke

Denis, 29, graduated from IT Tallaght with a degree in creative digital media in 2015. He funnels his creativity through a variety of mediums, including creating electronic music under the name Aerbeatz.

As Aerbeatz, Denis has performed at Electric Picnic and his music has been played on RTÉ 2FM, and 98FM’s Totally Irish show.

Now living in Tallaght, Denis tells The Echo about the idea behind ‘A New Normal’, gives his advice for up-and-coming creatives and details his future plans for Aerbeatz.

Your artwork, 'A New Normal', was recently purchased by Rua Red after it was shown at the gallery's Winter Open. What was the piece about, and how do you feel about it being permanently in-situ in Rua Red?

‘A New Normal’ is a stylised photographic still image. I thought it was interesting how subtly our daily routines have changed to cope with the pandemic, even down to a micro level where it is now standard to have certain items on your person at all times, such as sanitiser and masks.

The idea was to take the concept of a high-grade perfume/handbag ad but combine it with our now added essentials.

I’m delighted to have been selected and honestly didn’t expect it. It’s a great feeling to have, knowing that your work has resonated and will now join an in-house collection with some very talented fellow artists. In years to come it may potentially serve as a reminder of this strange time.

You've won a number of awards in the fields of photography, film and design. What advice would give to up-and-coming creatives who have an interest in a variety of mediums?

Just create, no matter the medium. Try everything with an open mind and at the end of the day, most importantly, stick to what feels right for you and your instincts.

There’s a lot of external noise these days, especially at the crossover of influencers and artists chasing the hot new format and trends, and I feel it’s important to block that out.

It’s a mistake I feel I made along the way, and can be an easy trap to fall into and get caught up in. After leaving college I personally felt I lost myself artistically in some ways, and have only really started finding my feet again.

Strangely the silver lining of the pandemic is that it helped me to block out all the noise and get more in touch with myself.

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Artwork ‘A New Normal’

You write and record electronic music under the name Aerbeatz. How would you describe your music and what do you think of the electronic scene in Dublin?

I would describe my music as moody electronic music, with influences ranging from hip-hop and techno to film scores.

Even though I’ve always played around with music, I only started to properly release anything within the last three years so I’ve honestly really never been part of the electronic scene in Dublin even though I’d love to be.

I feel for now I am very much on the fringes so wouldn’t have any comment on the scene. Any plans for performances are obviously shelved for now – I plan on changing that soon.

 What future plans are in the pipeline for Aerbeatz?

I will have a new EP out towards the tail end of this summer and, depending on circumstances, ideally some performances too! I also plan on working with a lot more vocalists going forward, be it singers or rappers. So, if there is anyone interested out there contact me.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium, and if so, why?

Picking a favourite is tough. I am very much drawn to music, as well as photography and visual art. Their immediacy and simplicity in expression of ideas can be very rewarding.

Filmmaking can be wonderful too, as it somewhat encompasses nearly all mediums, however, it’s ultimately much more involved in terms of finance and people power.

Where can people go to find out more about your work?

You can find more about my work on www.DenisBurke.ie, on Instagram by following my Aerbeatz or DenisBurke.ie accounts.

My music is also available on all major streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music under Aerbeatz.

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