February 24, 2024


masterpiece of human

Art Tui Bussenschutt, 12, sells out first solo exhibition of quirky, hand-drawn illustrations


As the work-from-home movement flourishes, co-working cafés displaying original artworks are popping up in regional areas, as well as in cities. 

Twelve-year-old Art Tui Bussenschutt, who cites Basquiat and Picasso as influences, is one such artist benefiting from a show in a café in Berry on the New South Wales south coast.

His first solo show, featuring 19 artworks, was a sell-out.

Kate Dezarnaulds, whose background is in arts and festivals, is the founder of WorkLife, a network of co-working spaces that host live music and art exhibitions.

“We created WorkLife to build a network of thinkers and doers, a home away from home so people can focus, get their work done and not be distracted by the washing,” Ms Dezarnaulds said.

“With the changes over the last few years, it just makes sense.”  

12-year-old Art Bussenschutt
Just like cartoonists Reg Mombassa and Michael Leunig, Art draws characters from his imagination.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

The organisation has 45 members in the Illawarra suburb of Coledale, and 30 members in Berry.

“It’s my job to make sure when you come to WorkLife, it’s not a sterile office, it’s a community and a place where you can connect with your community at the same time,” Ms Dezarnaulds said. 

Scrolling Instagram looking for work to display on her café walls, Kate came across Art’s hand-drawn illustrations. 

Artwork on a cafe wall.
Kate Dezarnaulds says both kids and adults are astonished by what Art has done.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

“For a young person to be able to execute works as consistently as this and for every one of them to be totally different from the previous one, and that they have this great sense of humour and personality about them … I was like, ‘We’ve got to have a show, he’s amazing and I’d love to see more of them,'” Ms Dezarnaulds said. 

Less screen time, more time for art

With more than 700 Instagram followers, Art has garnered interest in his quirky, philosophical, hand-drawn characters. 

“We are shipping to New Zealand, Canberra, Melbourne and then locally, so it’s quite a good spread,” Ms Dezarnaulds said.

Three hand drawn illustrations
Art creates bold, vivid and unconventional work, with a naive/naif style.(Supplied: Fliss Dodd)

Mother-of-three, ceramicist Fliss Dodd assists her younger son by managing the Instagram page, Art Tui.

Fliss says Art has a fantastic sense of humour.

“It’s just so unique and interesting and his characters are full of personality,” she said. 

She says all of her children are creative but Art spends more time on it.

Art Tui's contemporary artwork
Art says quirky quotes come to him when he is drawing his pictures.(Supplied: Fliss Dodd)

Art started drawing very young.

“He would create sweet little lead pencil sketches while we were watching sport for the older two, and he would actually be drawing his brother and the team from the sideline,” Fliss said. 

Over time, Art gravitated towards the brush and chisel-tipped markers his grandma bought him.

Art says he draws “anyone or anything from my imagination, anything that comes out of my brain”.

“I use geometric shapes or organic shapes,” he said. 

“I usually do the face after that, work on the face and the body comes with it.” 

“He talks about starting with the eyes and nose and then going from there,” Fliss said.

Love, a drawing by Art Tui
Love by Art Tui.(Supplied: Fliss Dodd)

“We’ve never touched his work, but we have guided him.

“Generally, after he’s drawn it, he’ll come to us, and it’s just in the pen stage, and he’ll ask, ‘What do you think?’

“And we always say, ‘Wow, can’t wait to see it with some colour on it’.

“It comes naturally to him.”

Three images of hand drawn characters.
Here there and everywhere, Balloon time baby and Out of context by Art Tui. (Supplied: Fliss Dodd)

‘Irresistible joy’

Louis Couttoupes, who owns and operates a restaurant in Kingston, in the ACT, with partner Iwona, recently purchased five pictures.

“We had this empty, underground concrete bunker that we needed to personalise,” Mr Couttoupes said. 

“In Art’s art, we found an irresistible joy.

 Louis Couttoupes
Louis Couttoupes says the pieces fit perfectly in his restaurant and hit the right note.(Supplied: Onzieme Restaurant)

“It’s quirky and incredibly humorous but has a sort of droll melancholy woven through,” he said. 

“It’s so clever, with such attention to detail — the scales, the teeth, the shading.

“There’s an element of the grotesque but it’s rendered so sympathetically and wryly you can’t help but feel good when you look at them,” Iwona said.

“We find them so uplifting.” 

Kate Dezarnaulds
Kate Dezarnaulds thinks there’s a fantastic balance in Art’s art.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Posted , updated 


Source link