Tom Butler creates his showstopping collages using a whole range of materials; in his imaginative hands a section of a crossword puzzle may become a block of flats, a wine bottle, or a church spire, and this unique approach adds intrigue, resonance and a touch of humour to every scene.
In 2004, Tom and his wife took a holiday in the South of France and visited a beautiful town called Uzès. He was mesmerised by the light, colour and textures – the bright awnings and parasols amongst weathered stone buildings, shuttered facades and crumbling masonry and ‘les publicités anciennes’ – huge, faded adverts from bygone days that used to be hand painted onto the sides of buildings. Tom says: “Maybe this is where my attraction to having text within a painting began.” Over the years travel has continued to be a strong influence on him, from Paris (where his wife is from) to New York, Havana and of course Venice. He loves to travel and discover new places and has recently been inspired on the Cornish coast.
Tom excelled at university and achieved a 1st class honours degree in General Illustration. His knowledge and love of art is wide ranging. “I really appreciate the use of colour and light by some of the Impressionist painters, namely Monet and Cezanne. I have studied the work of Singer Sargent, Kandinsky and the 1930’s poster artist and typographer, A.M Cassandre. During my degree I was inspired by the talents of Norman Rockwell and cartoonist Steadman. More recently I have been struck by the work of contemporary artists such as Luke Martineau, Mike Bernard, and Andrew Hood to name but a few. Anybody that can capture the essence of a subject matter with expression and vigour is an inspiration.”
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