Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Artist uses words in paintings to help capture soul of the city

Artist uses words in paintings to help capture soul of the city

CITYSCAPE artist Tom Butler will open an exhibition of his work at the Lemongrove Gallery in Henley next Friday (November 3).

It will feature a range of luminous original collages alongside his complete collection of available limited editions.

Tom will also be unveiling a trio of new releases for autumn at the Duke Street venue, featuring two of his favourite cities, London and New York.

He said: “My subject matter has varied over the years but I’ve really enjoyed studying London recently with all its old fashioned charm and bustle — it’s a place you could never tire of returning to.

“Other cities that appeal from an artistic perspective include Paris, my wife is from there and I have a definite affinity with the place, Havana and of course Venice. I love to travel and discover new places to build my work around.”

In 2004, Tom and his wife took a holiday in the South of France and visited a town called Uzès. He was mesmerised by the light, colour and textures, the shuttered facades and crumbling masonry and “les publicités anciennes” — huge, faded adverts that used to be hand painted on to the sides of buildings.

Tom says: “Maybe this is where my attraction to having text within a painting began. With photos galore, I set about recreating what I’d experienced and ultimately paved the way for my love of capturing cityscapes.” The scenes he creates are true to life and are crammed with ideas and incident. In his approach, a section of a crossword puzzle may become a block of flats, a wine bottle, or a church spire.

Words are everywhere and are important to the shaping of each scene but he leaves it up to the viewer to decide what they mean. Suzanne Craft, the gallery’s manager, said: “There’s so much detail and energy in each one, as well as charm and humour — just like the artist himself!”

For more information, visit www.thelemongrovegallery

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