Bushra Yousaf: Why Where When Who What

Unveiling Dimensions of Identity, Place, and Contemporary Art

Hosted by Bleeding Heart Art Space

Walk through the doors of Bleeding Heart Art Space and the paintings watch you enter. Beautifully rendered portraits somewhat hidden behind the whim and uncertainty of an abstract foreground. You get closer to a single work and you can’t lose the eyes staring through the messy rush of colour.  But this is all a good thing, because the paintings, like each of us, are imperfect. This is what the artist Bushra, wants to celebrate and centre. There’s an intentional dialogue between the viewer and the artwork. As the painting locks eyes with you, you see the messiness and imperfection in yourself. Hold that feeling and reflect upon it.

For Bushra, art is therapy. It’s a way to communicate with oneself and let others enter that experience. Art creates a therapeutic reflective space. Bushra’s work encourages us to accept the gaze of another as an invitation to look inward that acknowledges our universal imperfections.  The message is simple, “love all and hate none.” How do we get at that? For Bushra this means to accept our common human experience under an endless blue sky and to better communicate with ourselves and with others. Art does this, it allows the space to create and reflect.

Yet some are unconvinced, and Bushra knows this, of the purpose of the artist. What can the artist do? Bushra takes this question thoughtfully and hopes that, through her work we find ways to better navigate and communicate across difference in a world growing more and more divided. Though one can feel suffocated by the division and uncertainty of how to react and engage with others. We have to accept that we won’t always do it perfectly but that shouldn’t stop us from being able to look eye to eye with anyone we meet.

By Jared Epp

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