Tereza Buskova is a Czech born artist, who has been living and working in the UK since 1998, and is now based in Birmingham where she has a young family.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007 with a MA in Printmaking, her artistic career has achieved great success, with her work being exhibited all over the UK as well as internationally, including exhibitions in Berlin, Vienna, and Prague.
The striking and theatrical work of Tereza Buskova celebrates and re-interprets long established customs, examining the roles and hidden meanings of traditional rituals through performance, video, and print making. Drawing on her own personal experiences and cultural heritage, Buskova uses her bold and poetic artistic interpretation to explore themes of womanhood, fertility, mythology and our bonds with social history. Encouraging us to re-examine and re-interpret, Buskova’s work poses important questions – What is the role of traditions in the modern world? What is the boundary between art and life?
‘Her work is like nothing you have seen before. She works in a very intuitive and unique way, making films, mesmerising constructions built upon her experiences of her Czech heritage, which have an ethereal, timeless quality.’
Buskova has been the recipient of great critical acclaim from the start of her career. Her first film, Wedding Rituals (2007), was awarded ‘Best Foreign Film’ Award at the Parnu International Film & Video Festival, Estonia. Throughout her career to date, her work has been recognised internationally by some of the art world’s most prestigious art organisations.
Tereza Buskova’s film Spring Equinox (2009) (the work that won her Arts Council Individual Artist’s Award in the same year), explores the traditional rites of Spring in the Czech Republic and was exhibited as part of group show A Tradition I Do Not Mean To Break, at the Zabludowicz Collection in London 2009.
The setting for this film is the rural czech village of Ratiškovice, renowned for it’s active preservation of traditions, such as the Easter fertility festival, from which Buskova draws her inspiration.
Working closely with the local residents, as well as her long time creative collaborators actor writer Zoë Simon, and cellist composer Bella Emerson, Buskova expertly produces a dark atmospheric absurdity that compels the viewer with layered meaning and fragmented storytelling.
‘Spring Equinox reminds us that rather than being products of culture alone, folkloric traditions have their origins in the convergence of society and nature.’
–Ellen Mara De Wachter
Recently, in 2015, Buskova’s film Baked Woman of Doubice (2012) was shown as part of Reality Czech: the Czech Avant-Garde Now, a day of screenings, discussion and poetry exploring the Czech film avant-garde, at Whitechapel Gallery, London.
In this film, Buskova focuses on wheat and baking – things that are pervasive throughout European cultural traditions and universally symbolic of fertility and the bonds between women. Set in the Czech Village of Doubice, we see women (including the artist’s mother) unite in a fantasy ritual from which the ‘baked woman’ emerges, a goddess, adorned in hand crafted dough decorations.
Where Buskova in the past has drawn on the customs of Central and Eastern European culture, she will for the first time in her career shift her focus to an old English tradition. In 2016, Buskova will be joined by the people of Erdington to bring back to life the long lost ritual of ‘Clipping the Church’. This new project will continue exploring some of the core universal themes present in Buskova’s work – motherhood, the meaning of rituals, social and family bonds – as well as drawing on her own personal experiences of being a mother, being a daughter, and her life in Birmingham. Most importantly, this new work will be shaped and influenced by the contribution and participation of the residents of Erdington and the surrounding area. Clipping the Church will celebrate and explore relationships in the local community in an exciting public performance taking place in the heart of Erdington, in June 2016.
See more of Tereza Buskova’s work on her artist’s website here.