Goodman Gallery Cape Town is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by South African-born and UK-based artist Carla Busuttil. In her first exhibition in Cape Town, titled Post-National Bliss, the artist imagines and explores the rituals and conflicts of a fictional world perpetually on the brink of chaos.
Busuttil writes: “This world is flat, and its inhabitants are a generation lost: unhinged aristocrats, powerless lawmen, scoundrel children, otherworldly victims – all lurching towards some unrecorded fate. It is a time after history. Left in the wake of this carnival of unseen faces lies a dystopian vacuum consumed by superstition and fervour. This imagined future (or alternative present) is a world derived from history but extrapolated to an exaggerated end.”
In Busuttil’s vivid and unsettling canvases and watercolors, figures and images from the edges of historical and current events are edited, divorced from prior context and re-imagined in a different world where new histories are allowed to emerge. In an accompanying video piece, titled No More History, figures from this world recur and jostle for attention. The mask appears as a motif throughout the exhibition, acting alternately as a disguise, a symbol of identification, and an object that bestows power, and freedom.
Carla Busuttil was born in 1982 in Johannesburg, and lives and works in Oxford in the UK. Her work has been featured on numerous group exhibitions around the world, including Newspeak: British Art Now at the Saatchi Gallery, London and Saatchi Adelaide, and she has held several solo shows in the UK. Busuttil will begin a residency at the NIROX Foundation in November. Post-National Bliss is her second solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery.
Exhibition opens Saturday 2 November at 11H00
Public walkabout with the artist Wednesday 6 November at 11H00
Carla Busuttil has created and collaborated on works in multiple mediums, though her practice has a core focus on the materiality and medium of painting. Busuttil’s work negotiates historical figures, the shadows and spectres of colonialism and wealth inequality. She is particularly interested in notions of private versus public space, mapping and illustrating these often competing worlds – having recently developed a collaborative project on the topic of private security and the corporate entities that operate in that industry. While she is based in the UK, much of her work is influenced by the context of growing up in late apartheid South Africa. Often the subject matter she chooses to explore is a reflection on contemporary versions of segregated settings as well as sites of exclusion and privilege – gated communities, private schools, tax havens – and their impact on society and the various groups occupying these settings.
Busuttil (b.1982, Johannesburg, South Africa) completed the Postgraduate Programme at Royal Academy Schools, London, following on from a BA (Hons.) in Fine Arts at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her work has featured in group shows, including: Newspeak: British Art Now, at the Saatchi Gallery, London and AGSA, Adelaide, and in the Jerwood Contemporary Painting Prize, Jerwood Space, London and the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Gallery, Liverpool. She has held numerous solo shows including Josh Lilley Gallery, London and Space K, Seoul as well as Goodman Gallery Johannesburg and Cape Town. Busuttil features in recent publications 100 Painters of Tomorrow, Painting Now, and Picturing People (Thames & Hudson). Last year Busuttil took part in the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition in the UK as well as in a group show at the Artist Alliance Gallery in New York. She currently lives and work in Birmingham, UK