Johnathon World Peace Bush is attracting a strong institutional and collector following for his unique painting style, his political engagement, and bold words. Recent seminal exhibitions include ‘UNLEARNING AUSTRALIA’, a major survey of contemporary Australian Art at Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) in South Korea 2022; ‘The Last Supper and the Big Breakfast’, Melbourne Art Fair 2022; ‘Tiwi Exhibition’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 2021; ‘52 Artists, 52 Actions’, Artspace, Sydney 2021; ‘Groundswell’, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin, 2020; ‘Yalininga Ngaritpantingija Ngirramini’; and ‘Tarnanthi’, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 2018, 2019.
“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.”
Johnathon World Peace Bush expresses his views on equality, culture, art, and language through painting, writing, and song. Bush’s ochre paintings present a unique combination of Tiwi culture and his personal views on global politics, family, and cultural heritage. He adopts painting techniques that reflect jilamara (Tiwi body paint design), combining them with representations of political figureheads, Catholic imagery that relates to the colonial experience of the Tiwi, stories of colonial crimes against indigenous people, and adaptations of old anthropological images made of the Tiwi.
Bush’s work is held in the collections including Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Kluge-Ruhe Art Museum, Virginia, USA; Art Gallery of South Australia; and Artbank.