Trevor Burgess initially studied literature, going on to train and work as Assistant Curator at the Norwich Gallery for four years at the time of the establishment of the 'East' international exhibition. He founded and steered the development of the Warehouse Artists Studios in Norwich, where he was based from 1990 to 1997. During this period he was closely involved with the artist-run studio movement, and worked with the National Artists Association to launch a Code of Practice for the Visual Arts.
He took part in the site specific exhibition, Wholesale, in 1996. The installation filled the walls of a former cold store from floor to ceiling with a decorative cycle of eighteen paintings of massed fruit and vegetable produce. In this work a theme emerged which is still present in his painting: the function and pleasures of display in daily life are repeated and played off against the context and aesthetics of painting.
In 1997 Burgess moved to Barcelona, studying on the Winchester School of Art MA European Fine Art. During this period he produced a series of large, figurative paintings exploring the relationships of families and children, which, following graduation in 1998, were exhibited in a solo exhibition at the Galerie Daniel Wahrenberger in Zurich, Switzerland. In Barcelona he also made a series about Castellers, the popular Catalan custom of creating human towers as a street display. The Castellers were exhibited as a solo exhibition at the Galeria Groc in Barcelona and toured in Catalonia.
After returning to the UK in 1999 to live in London, Burgess became interested in the characteristics of the urban space around him as subject matter. He began using his own photographs of people's daily lives in the city as a source. This series of work was shown in a solo exhibition touring in Spain in 2007.
A series of paintings of homes in London called "A Place to Live", inspired by images in newspaper property adverts, were a new development. The paintings use thin glazes on plywood. Six of these paintings were selected by Time Out art critic Ossian Ward for The Discerning Eye 2011 where he was awarded the London and South East Regional Prize. He was invited by artist Eileen Hogan to show further pictures from the series in The Discerning Eye 2013. There are over 60 paintings in the series.
In 2014, Burgess curated the exhibition IN THE CITY at The Lion and Lamb gallery in London, including work by himself, Mark Crofton Bell, Stephen Carter, Aida Rubio Gonzalez, Marguerite Horner, Matthew Krishanu, Lee Maelzer, Jock McFadyen and Tanmoy Samanta. An expanded version of the exhibition toured to the EAST Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts in summer 2018. He continues to collaborate with other painters to co-curate occasional exhibitions.
In 2015, he received a commission from Townshend Landscape Architects for a triptych painting of Granary Square, the centrepiece of the King's Cross development in London. This generated a series of studies and related paintings.
For many years Burgess has been interested in street market stalls and shops in London as a subject for painting. He has since made paintings of markets during travels in other European countries, Latin America and India. This is an ongoing series of work, which was exhibited as a solo exhibition, The Market Paintings, at the Menier Gallery, London in 2016.
In 2017, Burgess held a solo exhibition "In Deptford", bringing together paintings of his local area. In 2018 he held a solo exhibition "Urban People" at international law firm, DMH Stallard.
Since 2010 Burgess has shown regularly with Cavaliero Finn. His work is also featured by www.alephcontemporary.com who recently made a film in which he talks about his practice. Over 100 of his paintings are available for licenced reproduction at Bridgeman Images.