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Commentary

Paul Burwell 1949 – 2007

Paul Burwell 1949 - 2007

On Sunday 4th Feb­ru­ary at 7:00 pm Paul Bur­well died in Hull Royal Infirmary.

At his bed­side were Ash­leigh Marsh, Anne Bean and his two sons, Piers and Titus.

I was there an hour before he passed. Paul died clutch­ing a drum in one hand and a but­ter­fly knife in the other, as I left the hos­pital John Lee Hooker’s ‘Boo­gie Chil­lum’ filled the room, from a small hos­pital cd player.

It was a beau­ti­ful even­ing and the set­ting sun streamed through the win­dow of his 3rd floor room in the hospital.

PDB & Ray @ KRC

Paul was a great influ­ence for me, and we per­formed together many times in recent years. My heart felt con­dol­ences go out to his nearest and dearest.

I will not attempt to encap­su­late his life here in words, as his life was full and multi-faceted. He was always most encour­aging about my work, and that meant a great deal to me, from someone who stayed true to his avante garde roots up until the end. Those inter­ested can do a search on the web where you will find many ref­er­ences to Paul’s work and col­lab­or­a­tions with a mul­ti­tude of Artists and musi­cians, not least of which was the Bow Gamelan Ensemble.

PDB on Balalaika

Paul had been uncon­scious since being found col­lapsed in Beres­ford park near the King­ston Row­ing Club (his home) a few days earlier. Unpre­dict­able to the end, it is some­what of a mys­tery at this point what exactly occurred, Paul con­foun­ded the Doc­tors by liv­ing sev­eral days longer than they expected.

We will miss you Paul.

PDB

Paul was one of the Zoo & Logical Times most enthu­si­astic sup­port­ers and he con­trib­uted to the pub­lic­a­tion in many ways.

He was respons­ible for giv­ing me my first ever com­mis­sion for a pro­ject as part of his Hull Rivers Cor­ridor pro­ject in 1999. For this I made a film called ‘Births and Deaths’, which was shown in an event at Scul­coates cemet­ary and also as part of that years Hull Film Fest­ival. I will try and have this film uploaded to you­tube in the com­ing weeks. The open­ing shot was of Paul dis­ap­pear­ing into the mist of a cemet­ary dur­ing the golden hour of dawn. I will always remem­ber the clack­ing of the Japan­ese knot­weed as Paul hacked his way through it like a Samurai possessed.

Land art by PDB at Spurn Po

Since then we col­lab­or­ated on many events at the row­ing club. The last time I spent with him, we strolled through the park to feed the swans, this was a reg­u­lar routine of Paul’s and he saw him­self as their guard­ian and protector.

As well as a fine artist and musi­cian, Paul was a con­sum­mate show­man who always stole the show, even if he were merely an audi­ence mem­ber (to the con­sterna­tion of some).

‘Once met, never for­got­ten’, is prob­ably an over­used phrase to describe people, not in Paul’s case.

Spurn Light ship

At this time there are no funeral arrange­ments, I will post them here as soon as I find out what they are. In the mean­time let off some fire­works and if you like a tipple drink a whis­key to a life lived to the full.

If you have a story about Paul you would like to share, please post it here in the com­ments or altern­at­ively email it to me at zooandlogical@yahoo.co.uk

PDB firework

Paul launches ATP03