Robbie Bushe RSA’s practice centres on the depiction of detailed, suggestive narratives, frequently set within expansive architectonic constructions.


Bushe has exhibited his narrative paintings since 1990. Inspired by the characters and the places he has lived and worked, his work has won several national awards including the inaugural W. Gordon Smith Painting Prize and most recently in 2021 was shortlisted and a prize-winner of the John Moores’ Painting Prize at the Walker Gallery Liverpool.


Robbie Bushe RSA‘I love to reimagine places and tell visual stories. I invent narrative scenarios and characters within a cinematic context, involving myself with fake or reimagined mythology often borrowed from and celebrating the tropes found in late 20th-century science fiction film and tv. Although often highly complex compositions, often borrowing from the illustrator’s device of the ‘cutaway’ where the viewer can see though buildings and objects to see how things work.’


Born in Liverpool in 1964, Bushe grew up in Aberdeenshire, before graduating in painting at Edinburgh College of Art in 1990. Having simultaneously undertaken a career as artist and art lecturer, he taught painting at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen; was Head of Fine Art at the University of Chichester; and lectured at Kent Institute of Art and Design and Oxford Brookes University.


Bushe returned to Scotland in 2007 to become the Coordinator of Short Courses at ECA and is currently a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He was President of Visual Arts Scotland from 2013 to 2016 and was Secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy from 2018 to 2021.


Bushe was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize 2020 for his painting The Neanderthals Future Infirmary.