Collectors love: Kushana Bush - Art Collector

Issue 63, January - March 2013

This profile appeared in the Collectors love feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2013.

Kushana Bush, The Conjurer, 2012. Gouache and pencil on paper, 75 x 55cm. Courtesy: the artist and Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland

With their decorative elegance and witty, touching focus on social mores, Kushana Bush’s gouache and pencil works on paper are proving popular with collectors. As well as an appearance at the Melbourne Art Fair with Brett McDowell Gallery, Bush had a sell out exhibition at Auckland’s Ivan Anthony Gallery in August last year, according to reports from the gallery.

The seven works in these two shows are small – only 75 by 55 centimetres – which is part of the intimacy that makes her works distinctive. They pay a clear debt to the Asian miniature painting tradition, but meld diverse cultures and traditional and contemporary subject matter in fresh, poignant ways. As a guide, they were priced NZD$4,500 each when they were shown in Melbourne.

The exhibitions followed the presentation earlier in the year of a show at Auckland’s Wallace Arts Centre,
All Things to All Men, which was the result of Bush’s year as Frances Hodgkins Fellow at The University of Otago in Dunedin.

These recent works push the decorative, yet they’re scenes of groups of people providing each other warmth – knitted together by an exquisite dance of line and colour. There’s a gentle, mischievous humour, a pathos and a humanity here, that is lacking in much contemporary painting.

Mark Amery

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