Opening Reception > 16 June 2023, 6:30PM to 8:30PM
Artist Talk > 17 June 2023, 1PM to 2PM
17 June > 10 September 2023
Everything that came before makes the present is the first institutional solo exhibition by Tiwi artist Johnathon World Peace Bush. Bringing together fifteen major works, the exhibition explores Bush’s interest in global politics, family, and cultural heritage through the lens of three key themes, Religion, Colonial Crimes and Indigenous Culture.
Bush’s works are defined by his layering of figurative elements, often sourced from Western art history, religious iconography and images of political figureheads, over cultural mark-marking that reflects Jilamara, Tiwi body paint designs. This unique amalgamation of imagery addresses the impacts of colonialism and the missionaries on Tiwi cultureand Bush’s connection to community, and acknowledgement of the diverse cultural influences that shape his life and that of his community.
IMAGE > (top) Johnathon World Peace Bush, King Charles, 2022, locally sourced natural earth pigments on linen, 120 x 120 cm. Image courtesy of the artist, Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association and THIS IS NO FANTASY. > (above) Johnathon World Peace Bush, Mona Lisa, 2022, natural ochres on linen, 150 x 200 cm. Image courtesy of the artist, Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association and THIS IS NO FANTASY.
For both my Tiwi people and my global family I want culture to be strong. If
you don’t have culture, you fall and have to fight to reconnect. Without culture we are all lost….I hold the Western and Aboriginal law
in my hands for all humankind to be equal. I have to balance both laws. I have been through many obstacles in order for my words to be
I hope my artwork gives a glimpse into my strong beliefs of a want for world peace and equality for all humankind: ‘This time is your time. It is time for you to talk big. You need to fight to keep culture alive.’ I remember my older male ancestors saying this to me. They have all passed away now, but they have left work for me to do…it is important to link the past to the present for healthy future regeneration. Like a chain reaction. To fix up a family tree you have to go down to the roots and into the past. Love is the fruit of good family. I work for a future that is bright and where everything will be alright.
— Johnathon World Peace Bush