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Thomas James Butler Biography

Born in North Yorkshire in 1982, Thomas James Butler works with a range of materials and mediums, predominantly painting, collage and sculpture.

He draws inspiration from a variety of cultural reference points and innovators; 20th century painters Robert Rauchenburg and Hans Hoffman are equally as relevant to Butler’s practice as filmmakers and writers Stanley Kubrick and Charles Bukowski.

Butler’s early work focused on his collage approach, a dynamic and engaging style that focused on 20th century iconography. The minimalist works often incorporated the blankness of the canvas as much as the materials themselves, creating a direct narrative and drawing the viewer into the work.

In 2017 he presented Shooting Bottles; a series of collages and paintings celebrating the halcyon eras of 1940s film and 1960s pop culture. Butler worked directly onto musical scores, with the newly formed images retaining the identifiable charm of his visual signature, with the medium referencing an appreciation of Dadaist assemblage.

His evolution into abstract painting has been a natural development, a more personal expression of colour and form painted instinctively. Vibrant hues that are often otherwise incompatible find harmony within his bold compositions, evoking a sense of beauty and joy from what could easily fall into chaos.

This summer Butler will feature in Infinite Nature; a group exhibition in Oslo, Norway. He will show new paintings with a focus on Floriography, presenting his unique take on ‘the language of flowers’. The collection will also include his first exploration into sculpture, the result of a recent collaboration with the artist Christopher Kelly.

“Flowers have gradually appeared in my work very naturally. There isn’t always a conscious thought process as to why I paint them apart from knowing that it makes me happy. There is so much beauty and hope in the bloom of a flower. A gift to all of us from nature. I’m also exploring how human nature has found a way to ‘speak’ with flowers.” Thomas James Butler

Butler lives and works in Yorkshire, sharing a studio with his partner, artist Candie Payne.

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