by Kushana Bush In 'Here we are' New Zealand artist Kushana Bush traverses, in painstaking strokes of gouache, a vast array of sources -- from Mughal miniatures to medieval books of hours and Italian Renaissance painting. In a brocade of figures, color, gesture and pattern, Bush seamlessly infuses historical references with symbols of our contemporary world, blurring temporal, cultural and geographical boundaries so that, contrary to the assertion of the title, exactly where we are is anything but clear-cut.
We can establish that an exchange is taking place between two parties. Hand gestures and facial expressions ricochet from one party to the other, and among their crowded bodies, lie an assortment of offerings - a pair of scissors, a golden skewer, a banana peel, a wristwatch. This scene of marketplace trading — or perhaps, dispute resolution — teems with mixed messages. Yet, its formal values create a distinct sense of coherence; it is at once confused and balanced.