SIMON Burton’s exhibition title for his York College Gallery show, One Year Later, refers to a time spent removed from the rest of the world: the time that it takes to make a painting.

“In this year paintings are constructed from tatters of memory, reclaiming and recycling paintings past,” he says. “Their surfaces are inhabited by the accumulation of touches and the multiple layers of paint are frustrated by the very effort that brought them into being.”

In his physically dense paintings, he “courts this as a type of dilemma, his work being clogged with incident yet sensing an encroaching emptiness”.

His paintings often picture a protagonist who has been through a process that has “reduced their support structure”. It is as if they sever all contact with family and friends, go hungry, and lose or give away all their belongings.

Then, out of this state of nothingness, they either acquire new strength to reconnect with the world or they fail and disappear for good.

York College fine art tutor Steven Anderson, who runs the gallery, says: “This exhibition looks set to be one of our best shows to date. Large, dramatic paintings fill the space with Burton’s complex and elaborate painting style. It’s a fantastic way to show to our students how ambitious they can be as artists.”

Burton was born in Yorkshire in 1973. After receiving a first class degree at the University of Brighton in 1995, he completed his MA at the Royal College of Art in 1997 and now lives and works in London. He has exhibited widely both solo and alongside Francis Bacon, Graham Sutherland, L.S. Lowry, Frank Auerbach and Sir Peter Blake.

One Year Later runs until February 28. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday, 9am to noon. Admission is free.