Kay Burns is a multidisciplinary artist based in Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Her work includes performance art, locative media, audio, video, photography, sculpture, and installation.

Kay explores site-specific responses to locations through reinterpretation and reinvention of local mythologies, histories, and the eccentricities of people who inhabit those places. Her work melds fact and fabrication, indirectly commenting on the authority associated with the dissemination of information. A significant part of her practice since 2003 has been the reinstatement of the defunct Flat Earth Society of Canada through her performance persona, Iris Taylor, entailing presentations of an evolving 'recruitment lecture' and the ongoing development of flat earth artifacts. Kay's performance work also includes guided 'historical' walks as Iris Taylor, and an extended walking practice through her involvement as a founding member of the Ministry of Walking collective. Other walking-related investigations are realized through her locative media (GPS triggered) audio projects. Her walking projects allude to notions and practices of tourism, yet subvert presumptions associated with the tourist experience of a given place to indirectly question the rhetoric offered up by most regions' tourism sectors.

Kay's work is realized through processes of walking, investigating, collecting, documenting, and recontextualizing. Sometimes the work parodies these processes as a curatorial or archival act leading to fictional/critical interpretations of information accumulation, construction, and delivery systems. Her work is a hybrid of truth and invention, presented in contexts that beg questions about expectations within anticipated frameworks.

Her work has been presented internationally in Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Belfast, New York and Los Angeles; and across Canada from Dawson City to St. John's. She previously held the post of curator at the Muttart Public Art Gallery in Calgary, and taught in the University of Calgary Fine Arts Department and the Alberta College of Art and Design Media Art Department prior to her move to Newfoundland. Burns continues to undertake freelance writing and curatorial projects, as well as mentorship and visiting teaching roles for various organizations and institutions.


Kay Burns