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Recent Activity

Carla Busuttil: ‘Always the Land’

5 November – 4 December 2021

So what was this Earth that the meek were to inherit?
What if it had already been inherited?

For her solo exhibition at Recent Activity, Carla Busuttil will present a new body of work, Always the Land. The work is a mixed media installation of film, animation and painting. The theme of the show takes the North East Coast of England as it’s starting point and primary setting. For Busuttil, that coastline holds particular fascination as the site of some of the country’s most rapid coastal erosion (due to climate change), as well as some of the country’s largest renewable energy projects in the form of offshore wind farms. These interlocking developments form an ideal location for artistic interrogation. In the film, Busuttil plays the role of #AltBlingQueen, a MiddleLander casting spells and enchantments to the ocean, sending clicks from a groovebox, summoning jewelled creatures that hold the seabed hostage. She seeks to release the wind, the land and seabed back to The Commons, freed from the shackles of private enclosure, rent-seeking and inherited wealth.

Film narration: Jodie Langford
Text: Gary Charles

(During the run of the fixed exhibition at Recent Activity (5 Nov – 4 Dec 2021), a visual and sound performance, drawing on the imagery, sonics and text from the film, will take place at Stryx on 17th Nov.)

Carla Busuttil (b. 1982, Johannesburg) lives and works in Birmingham. Though trained as a painter, Busuttil also makes film, installation and sculpture. Her work engages with ideas around social structures and the genealogies of power, partly informed by her experience of growing up in late apartheid South Africa. Recent Exhibitions include: IDENT, curated by Schemata, New Art City, (2021); Sunset Debris, solo show, Montresso Art Foundation, Marrakech (2020); Distorted Figure, group show, Space K, Seoul, (2020). Busuttil featured in a recent Thames & Hudson Publication ‘World of Art: Contemporary Painting’ (March 2021) and her collaborative art project Mosquito Lighting will be included in an upcoming University of Michigan publication ‘The Technologies of Security’ (TBP 2022). She is represented by Josh Lilley Gallery, London.