Jane Bustin (Great Britain)

Jane Bustin, born in 1964 in London, where she currently lives and works, is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice includes painting, ceramics, installation, text, film, and performance. Her paintings are characterised by sequential, monochrome abstract works created using various mediums and surfaces, exploring the metaphysical potential of painting to visually represent philosophical concepts whilst drawing inspiration from modernist literature, feminism, theology, music, dance, as well as historical influences such as 14th-century frescos and 17th-century painting. Her influences also include Belle Époque iconography, European literature from the 19th and 20th centuries, the feminist movement of the 70s, Japanese ceramics, fabrics, books, hardware stores, neon signs, cosmetics, sweet wrappers and more…

Bustin’s work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, with solo shows in London, Berlin, New York, Paris, Sydney and Auckland. Her works are also held in public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Ferens Art Gallery UK and the Yale Centre USA. Bustin is represented by Copperfield London, Jane Lombard New York, Fox Jensen Sydney and Fox Jensen McCory Auckland.

In 2020, Bustin was awarded the Mark Rothko UK Residency Award and spent six weeks living and working at the Mark Rothko Centre, a former fortress in Daugavpils, Latvia. Choosing to work in the semi-derelict outbuildings surrounding the centre, she was immersed in a place rich with history, past lives, secrets and echoes of hidden voices. The peeling walls adorned with faded pinks and yellows, stairways with 1950s viridian green and red oxide linoleum tiled floors, and the heavy deep maroon and rust iron doors evoked the colours of Rothko’s paintings. It felt as if these early childhood visions had been imprinted on Rothko’s mind and carried across the Atlantic to be expressed soberly to an American audience.

During her residency, Bustin created several works on paper and wrote prose poems that informed the subsequent paintings and films, all uniquely linked to this special place in Latvia. The resulting exhibition is an attempt to engage in a conversation with the buried images of unseen Rothko paintings in his birthplace, offering insights into the effects of place, colour, sound and image on artistic practice.


In this place (not that place), this place, that deep rusty, russet crying red, not what lies beneath the skin, but that spills and stubbornly stays insisting on itself letting you know, it’s Mark.

A promise of a past, a sign that spat life out, scratching itself amongst the closed doors – it wants to stay until it burns from oxide red to deep maroon through to darkest burnt umber, where it hums at the very base of your heart refusing to move, refusing to leave and just as the ox’s blood bled onto leather, staining a skin of one dead animal to another, we are all touched by these unknown dyed finger tips.

Jane Bustin
Daugavpils, June 2020

Exhibition period: 2 June 2023 – 27 August 2023