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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Adventure in The Wilds with artist John Busher

Maria Pepper

John Busher in his studio
John Busher in his studio
One of John’s works in the Art Maze Mag

The Wexford artist John Busher will display some of his drawings and prints on paper in The Wilds restaurant in Enniscorthy from Saturday, March 24 to April 21.

'I made the drawings and prints over a six-month period. I usually go back to drawing following a long period of painting. In this case it was large drawings that I felt the need to make', said John (42) who has been a practising artist in the mediums of drawing, painting and printmaking since 1999.

'I found a dark space on the Mezzanine floor of The Wilds that seemed to work with the drawings and prints. There is a lovely light through the building and it was interesting to play around with the bigger drawings in the space'.

In late 2017, the Enniscorthy-based artist was invited to take part in a group show by curator Kristian Day, an independent gallerist and curator based in London, who has worked with some of the world's leading commercial galleries.

He established Paper Cuts, an online and event project that showcases contemporary works on paper and invited John to contribute.

'It was very simple. I had connected with Kristian online sometime previously. I noticed some of the work he was doing with artists in the UK and internationally. He liked what I was doing and invited me to submit what were 'works in progress',' said John.

Following this, John's work has been featured in the contemporary arts journal Art Maze Magazine, an international journal that showcases experimental and progressive contemporary art and can be found in prestigious venues in cities including New York, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Stockholm and Amsterdam.

Kristian Day guest-curated the current Winter Edition and a smaller selection made by a panel of Art Maze editors. The work was selected from John's recent solo show 'Jostle' which was held at Pallas Projects/Studios in Dublin last autumn.

The artist who graduated from NCAD with an MA in Art in the Contemporary World in 2015, was recently accepted onto the Turps Correspondence Course at Turps Art School based in London which offers the opportunity to 'reconnect and reinvigorate participants' practise on an international platform'.

During the year-long course John will engage with a wider community of practising painters and refine his painting techniques. This will mainly be achieved through social media apps which a growing community of dealers, curators and artists now use to connect.

Wexford County Council awarded John an Artlinks Visual Arts Bursary for the course.

'The support of the Arts Department of the Council has been instrumentalin developing my arts practice,' he said. We are lucky as artists in Wexford to be able to avail of the fantastic resources that are available'.

John will create work throughout his involvement in the course, resulting in a solo show in mid-2019.

'Working as an artist you're never quite sure what's around the corner. You only really think of the next work you might make. The rest is luck. If you happen to make a good piece, then that's usually a marker to what you might do in the future. It's a guessing game. Right now, I want to see what happens to my work following the Turps course. That's exciting for me', he said.

'As an artist/educator John has facilitated workshops in visuals arts in primary schools, a practice he has developed over the past 10 years. He is currently artist-in-residence at St. Mary's National School, Ballygarrett, Gorey with the Living Art Project run by Wexford County Council, Wexford Arts Centre and The Arts Council.

'I'm mostly interested in facilitating to primary children as there is a freedom in the primary curriculum. I enjoy the fearlessness of how children make art. They don't have any real hang-ups. I also enjoy working alongside staff in schools. This is important in how a residency develops', he said.

John also teaches CPD in the education department at The National College of Art & Design (NCAD). In this role he delivers courses that explore how primary teachers might engage with the visual arts curriculum.

John can be contacted at www.johnbusher.ie or info@johnbusher.

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