Liberty Battson

I bet you wish you did this

I bet you wish you did this


The title is inspired by that moment you stand before something that inspires you and you wish you had done that, thought of that or did that first. In this case, you did. The viewer plays a massive role in the exhibition by being part of the searched results.

This body of work forms part of Battson’s Solo exhibition at the Absa Gallery and CIRCA Cape Town. I bet you wish you did this is based on using Google, statistically the most used search engine in the world and a feature built into it, that we are all so familiar with called “search suggest” or “Google instant”. This feature numerically ranks the most searched for results, in doing this the actual numbers or article related results became irrelevant and the most searched research becomes fascinating.

The exhibition covers the searched statistics for the past year (2016). A series of paintings follow the central work representing the changes that occur each month thereafter. Battson runs down the alphabet and colour codes each searched result. The viewer is able to track the changes visually and decode it.

Download Decoding Sheet

Absa is honoured to host I bet you wish you did this, Liberty Battson’s first solo exhibition. Liberty Battson is the 2014 Barclays L’Atelier winner. The exhibition taps into the very heart of our current technology-based culture to reveal those statistics that were most searched for by online users. The results are represented statistically and visually, allowing viewers to actively participate in the exhibition by inviting them to be part of and decode the searched results. This exhibition offers a glimpse on so many different levels into the current psyche of the global population. It’s fascinating, to track the statistics and how world events shaped their importance in the lives of online users. It represents a true blurring of the lines between the tech and art cultures, and is a true triumph for Liberty’s first solo exhibit since winning the Barclays L’Atelier Award two years ago. Through its sponsorship of the visual arts, Absa aims to identify, encourage and promote young talent. It is by identifying talent through sponsorships such as the L’Atelier Art Competition and providing artists with a platform through its Gallery that Absa makes visible the development of young and emerging artists, helping them to build their brand and identity within the visual arts. A special thanks to Johan Myburg for his insight into the exhibition and insightfully unpacking it through the essay included herein. We wish Liberty success with this exhibition and look forward to seeing her career continue to develop and grow in the years ahead.

Dr. Paul Bayliss — Absa Art & Museum Curator

"I bet you wish you did this" featured in the following exhibitions:


Everard Read Circa Cape Town

I bet you wish you did this