Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here

About

Goodman Gallery Cape Town
16 March – 8 May 2019

For her fourth exhibition with Goodman gallery Carla Busuttil presents a series of expressive drawings and densely layered oil paintings which expand on her long-term interest in depicting people in power and were created during the three-year lead up to Brexit.

The exhibition opens during the month that the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union and coincides with International Women’s Month which takes #BalanceforBetter as its 2019 slogan.

For the Johannesburg-born, Birmingham-based artist: ‘It is a thrill to exhibit in Cape Town, an increasingly global destination for arts and culture, and to be engaging with home audiences again for whom conversations around nationhood, toxic masculinities and balancing the scales of power have been ongoing for decades.’

The exhibition’s title pays homage to award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin who, in 1987, declined to write the blurb for an anthology of all-male science fiction writing, likening the book to an ‘exclusively male […] club, or a locker room’. Le Guin ends her letter with the droll lament: ‘Gentlemen, I just don’t belong here’, echoing, for Busuttil, a persisting sentiment shared by many women working in today’s art world.

Busuttil’s lurid, figurative paintings are imbued with the social tensions of a divided Britain and suggest an uneasy relationship to ‘otherness’. The figure of the private school boy – at times reminiscent of well-known political and royal personalities such as Boris Johnson and Prince Harry
– emerges as a primary subject. These young men, regaled in cricket, football and rugby uniforms, become symbolic for institutionalised power as well as colonial ambitions to spread ‘civility’ in order to tame ‘the wild’. Their green-hued bodies morph into sites for the merging of cultures whereupon cricket pads are appropriated to become African masks.

Drawing on Victorian attempts to domesticate wild animals, as depicted in postcards from the nineteenth century, Busuttil mirrors these curious interactions: young men are shown hugging giraffes and riding on the backs of lions, rhinoceros and crocodiles. In one image, a young man appears poised with his tongue gripped between the sharp incisors of a hyena – or is it the hyena’s tongue that is being pulled by the man?

The artist’s upbringing in late apartheid South Africa is a profound shaper of her practice, sparking fascination with segregated settings as well as sites of exclusion and privilege, which she explores in the forms of gated communities, private schools, and tax havens.

Busuttil’s approach to figurative painting is particularly inspired by South African artists, namely Robert Hodgins for his unique approach to satirical portraiture and Penny Siopis for her experimental use of colour and energetic approach to the medium of paint.

  • A Progressive Alliance

    Carla Busuttil

    A Progressive Alliance, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 23 x 33 cm

  • Almost Saturday

    Carla Busuttil

    Almost Saturday , 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 33 x 22 cm

  • Castle Rock

    Carla Busuttil

    Castle Rock, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 56 x 46 cm

  • Country On The Click

    Carla Busuttil

    Country On The Click, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 90 x 100 cm

  • Fine Fettle

    Carla Busuttil

    Fine Fettle, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 50 x 50 cm

  • Ghost of my Life

    Carla Busuttil

    Ghost of my Life, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 23 x 33 cm

  • Krone

    Carla Busuttil

    Krone, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 40 x 30 cm

  • No 1 Co.

    Carla Busuttil

    No 1 Co., 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 70 x 100 cm

  • Paradise No 3 (Crocodile)

    Carla Busuttil

    Paradise No 3 (Crocodile), 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 130 x 200 cm

  • Paradise No.6 (Hyena)

    Carla Busuttil

    Paradise No.6 (Hyena), 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 150 x 180 cm

  • Paradise No. 1 (Rhino)

    Carla Busuttil

    Paradise No. 1 (Rhino), 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 150 x 180 cm

  • Paradise No. 8 (The Sheltered Life)

    Carla Busuttil

    Paradise No. 8 (The Sheltered Life), 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 50 x 60 cm

  • Paradise No.5 (Three Leopards)

    Carla Busuttil

    Paradise No.5 (Three Leopards), 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 120 x 150 cm

  • Paradise Politics

    Carla Busuttil

    Paradise Politics, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 30 x 40 cm

  • Personal Shopper No. 1

    Carla Busuttil

    Personal Shopper No. 1, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 120 x 80 cm

  • Protection from the Sun

    Carla Busuttil

    Protection from the Sun, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 110 x 90 cm

  • We are the Vision

    Carla Busuttil

    We are the Vision , 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 46 x 56 cm

  • Who will Speak for England

    Carla Busuttil

    Who will Speak for England, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 50 x 60 cm

  • The North will Rise Again

    Carla Busuttil

    The North will Rise Again, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 33 x 23 cm

  • The Gold Rush People

    Carla Busuttil

    The Gold Rush People, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 200 x 300 cm

  • School Fees for the Bourgeoisie

    Carla Busuttil

    School Fees for the Bourgeoisie, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 100 x 70 cm

  • Rhino Tour

    Carla Busuttil

    Rhino Tour, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 29 x 42 cm

  • Cat Commerce

    Carla Busuttil

    Cat Commerce, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Croc Drive

    Carla Busuttil

    Croc Drive, 2019

    MIxed media on paper

    Work: 29 x 42 cm

  • Elephant Riders

    Carla Busuttil

    Elephant Riders, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Gaucho Hippo

    Carla Busuttil

    Gaucho Hippo, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 29 x 42 cm

  • Lion Lord

    Carla Busuttil

    Lion Lord, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Nightwatchman

    Carla Busuttil

    Nightwatchman, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Hyena Schooled

    Carla Busuttil

    Hyena Schooled, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 29 x 42 cm

  • No. 1 Paradise Man

    Carla Busuttil

    No. 1 Paradise Man, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Imperially Grounded

    Carla Busuttil

    Imperially Grounded, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

  • Patron Saint of Lost Things

    Carla Busuttil

    Patron Saint of Lost Things, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 29 x 42 cm

  • Personal Shopper

    Carla Busuttil

    Personal Shopper, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Prince + Prey

    Carla Busuttil

    Prince + Prey, 2019

    Mixed Media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Scavenger

    Carla Busuttil

    Scavenger, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 29 x 42 cm

  • Buckaroo Zebra

    Carla Busuttil

    Buckaroo Zebra, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Crocodile Trapper

    Carla Busuttil

    Crocodile Trapper, 2019

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 42 x 29 cm

  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]
  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]
  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]
  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]
  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]
  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]
  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]
  • Installation picture [Carla Busuttil / Gentlemen, I Just Dont Belong Here ]