Multidisciplinary artist, Tereza Bušková (b.1978, Prague) lives and works in Birmingham. Following a BA in Fine Art Bušková completed an MA in Fine Art Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 2007. Bušková’s practice deals with ritual, tradition and craft, celebrating and reinterpreting Slavic as well as European customs through the media of print, performance and video.
At once, intuitive, visionary and rooted in thorough anthropological research, Bušková’s practice actively involves diverse, hard to reach communities through traditional craft-making and baking workshops inspired by Slavonic folklore. Although they often form a starting point of her work, Bušková’s creativity is not limited to Czech and Moravian traditions, elements of British and other European cultures are incorporated, resulting in performances, films and images which transcend geographical borders and, by evading exact periodisation, function as mythic histories unbound by time. Previous participatory, community-based projects include The Clipping the Church (2016), which sought to revive an ancient and almost forgotten English tradition as part of which families would flock to local churches, holding hands with each other in order to encircle it with open arms. More than 200 people were present at the artist’s orchestrated re-enactment of the clipping of St Barnabus Church, Erdington, Birmingham in June 2016, 13 days prior to the Brexit referendum. As a potent symbol of identity and belonging, such a public art project united a disparate community, commemorate the clipping of the church by combining Bohemian wedding celebrations with English rituals. More recent Arts Council funded, multidisciplinary participatory and community-based projects have also included Hidden Mothers (2021) and Little Queens (2022), which link the exploration of the mother figure with the folkloric and ritualistic as well as the universally relevant themes of community, identity and belonging. Hidden Mothers, inspired by British and Central as well as Eastern European cultural customs, celebrated often unseen refugee and migrant mothers as well as Czech and Slovak mothers who experience isolation and routinely face stigma in the UK. Seeking to both empower women and stimulate transcultural conversations, Hidden Mothers was orchestrated by Bušková featuring Mokosh, the Great Mother and Slavic god of female endeavours, and performed in Peckham, London. Little Queens, led by Bušková and collectively staged by migrant refugee women, took place on West Bromwich High Street and formed part of Visit Sandwell’s ‘Shine A Light’ programme of cultural events organised ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Reimagining an ancient Moravian ritual, Little Queens celebrated nature and the role of women both young and old within their communities.