Tidal Ballads Sung Wrong | John Busher at City Assembly House


Tidal Ballads Sung Wrong | John Busher at City Assembly House Date/Time
Date(s) - 07/04/2022 - 16/04/2022
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

City Assembly House





A figure walking with intent, huddled groups of women gathered together under a corner lantern, the potency of archival photography feeds into concerns that are rooted in a local context. Primarily growing out from a series of monotypes, Tidal Ballads Sung Wrong sees Busher engage with a variety of new processes and materials that further investigate bodily concerns. Anchored in utopian notions of a ‘pleasure’ island, part real and imagined he repurposes a man-made island in a gallery context. A built structure is reclaimed by the natural world, sprouting mushrooms signalling its decline, threatening to erase it from our living memory. The redundancy of river life is reframed through a window of brightly coloured ceramic works, dredgers, floating docks, and steamboats are recontextualised as defunct objects that drift by ruin after ruin. Crudely rendered woodcuts hang diametrically on opposite walls, they peer over a silkscreen printed wallpaper of motifs that are upended on tree trunks. Narrative fictions of interior vs exterior space play out, once inhabited dwellings succumbing to the elements.

Charcoal and mixed media drawings act as a point of departure, yet no clear timeline emerges, instead, it seems to meld past, present or future. Hinting at the bittersweet leftovers of conflict, paintings are layered with a web of narratives that often beset each other. The dichotomy of figures rigidly performing drills in unison is opposed in a rendering of a fairground ride. This sparing of content is re-evaluated in the most recent paintings, reoccurring motifs such as cabins or makeshift houses are punctuated with contemporary references. Mini fracas in an ALDI car park, 2021, sees a dark Munchian, looming figure tower over lightly rendered white figures in oil, oil stick and acrylic marker on canvas. Forests are often close by, dense branches filled with brightly coloured hues of pinks, blues or purples. The forester’s lodge makes an appearance, and the necessary infrastructure that aids shipping makes itself known. Once thriving warehouses, docks and bridges appear lost, and sit adjacent to a roulette of image-making.

Kindly Supported by
The Arts Council
Wexford County Council
David Skinner Wallpapers


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