Born 1983 Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand
Lives and works in
Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand
Kushana Bush draws on a range of influences in her skilfully created gouache paintings, but her primary focus is the human figure, sometimes alone or, more frequently, part of a larger crowd. Her palette of soft, delicate colours is distinctive and highlights the elaborate gestures or poses of her subjects, who are engaged in mysterious actions, and set in an indeterminate era. Bush deliberately draws on a range of cultural references, mixing elements from Giotto’s frescoes, Japanese Shunga art, Indo-Persian miniatures, Dutch religious paintings, Korean still life and folk art, and the painting of British artist Stanley Spencer. Using a flat picture plane, she includes patterns resembling decorative tiles or porcelain ware. Her figures are often wounded and vulnerable, partially clothed, and playing out themes of power, conformism and sexuality, and the images hint at an underlying violence through the use of humour and absurdity.