Art For The Coming Age
* Series painted during and in response to, the coronavirus pandemic and racial upheaval of 2020
"The import of Mr. Burrows' work is rooted in his painting not just his paintings.
Ainsley's pieces are bodacious, urgent, combative, mesmeric, turbulent, demanding and prompt a temporary appropriation of the senses. They are poems wrapped in concertos dipped in paint and sermonized on brash-sized canvasses redolent of his panorama! And that's before we get to the substance. I am consistently awestruck by the magnitude and eminence of his work and its appeal to the seasoned art lover or neophyte.
Take his vaunted Maroon Series: about the Africans who escaped from slavery in Burrows' Jamaica and established free communities in the mountainous interior-constantly revolting against their British slave masters!
At one of Ainsley's private viewings: I struck up a conversation with a sixty-something-year-old Jamaican man who's a self-described conservative and art novice who told me in reverent tones, he grew up nonplussed about the Maroons because during his formative years: their history (muddled by the British) sparked both resentment and grudging acknowledgment. However, this afternoon, this novice stood solemn brimming with national pride but moreover embracing an impalpable awakening fostered by his gaze on the imperious, apocalyptic canvasses, exclaiming: "I lived an entire life confused about the Maroons which as older Jamaican is strange but Ainsley's work shifted my understanding of the Maroons-it's a spiritual awakening which will cause me to question more than my view of the Maroons, it's like I'm being sucked in by these paintings"
Writing, painting, singing- they cannot stop everything. However: Ainsley is a Sapien who believes everything is possible and his work: though a reflection of his ethos, his innate restlessness and exigency of spirit: makes the pause between our struggles-laughter and demise feel blissful, can make the space of waiting for a place where you can linger without as much fear. I have two paintings of Ainsley's and they are different in scale and subject and they both began the same but in the end, they are all uniquely different yet with each recast of my eyes: they evince an ageless reprise of their stories-If I was a bit Quixotic, I would testify Ainsley sneaks into my apartment daily and adds a few brush strokes to his work!"
— Daren Lyons, Writer & Cultural Attache