Sandra Bushby

Sandra Bushby’s paintings explore the concept of painterly and poetic intervals. She employs both the formal language of painting—colours, spaces, lines—and the signs and structures of written (and spoken) poems—punctuation, line breaks, breaths. Reading poetry and referencing poems’ visual structures and forms is at the core of her practice. In this way, her paintings also become a space for reflection. Her recently completed doctoral thesis, titled: ‘Resisting Foreclosure: Infinite Structures and No Endings in an Emergent Painting Practice’, suggests painting as a tool for turning things over, for “opening up unexpected pockets of feeling.” She primarily works in oil on linen, predominantly with a restrained, earthy colour palette of greys, reds, blues, and greens. Allan Smith says of her recent work, “[Bushby] works as if painting is a special way of marking time; of letting time take incremental and intermittent form; of letting time show itself through its crumbled edges and atmospheric patching; of showing the inadvertency of painting’s time.” The blocks of colour, repeated lines, small energetic marks are arranged on the canvas in such a way that visually suggest lines or stanzas of poetry. Though they also suggest the energy of poetry too: each painting has its own rhythm, density, and clear, light spaces for taking a breath.


Sandra Bushby (b. 1965, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand) currently lives and works in Auckland where she is a Part time Painting tutor at Elam School of Fine Arts. She has recently exhibited work at Window, Auckland, Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland, and George Fraser Gallery, Auckland. Her work is held at the Te Papa Tongawera Museum of New Zealand and Auckland Museum collections.