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Kushana Bush
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Kushana Bush inhabits a singular position within contemporary New Zealand art. Her meticulously detailed compositions, multi-ethnic characters and open-ended narratives combine to create a unique visual language. It is an approach that has attracted significant attention for this Dunedin-based artist, drawing audiences into the complex choreography of her world. The Burning Hours focuses on paintings produced from 2014 to 2016 - years that mark a significant compositional shift in Bush's practice. Her early works positioned the subject matter in the centre of the page - hovering within the image field as a way of isolating and highlighting what was important. In contrast, her most recent works see the central image reaching out to consume the entire picture plane. The inclusion of horizons, landscapes and architectural structures bring the narrative to the fore, and anchor the figures in a more realistic pictorial space. This new body of work is rich with detail - each surface, of gouache and gold, is filled with references to illuminated manuscripts, Persian miniatures, European art history and modern life. This major exhibition catalogue is richly illustrated and features insightful essays by Lauren Gutsell, Justin Paton and Heather Galbraith.
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