Saturday, March 24, 2012
This Week We're Fussed About... Martin Butler
Posted by Rachel Berner
This week I am fascinated by the intricately decorative designs and murals produced by Bournemouth based artist Martin Butler. Following his obvious passion for art from an early age he told us that ‘despite the many pressures of adult life, the creative impulse was one that I luckily managed to never grow out of!’
He describes starting with a blank canvas, ‘letting the lines flow instinctively and draw themselves until I reach a point where I want to transform the shapes in front of me into something more recognisable’. Martin’s work incorporates the use of line, space and composition to create paintings that have a sense of story and which encompass the viewer in this experience. His inspiration comes from a rich range of sources including elements from the natural world, tribal culture and travel, to early Buddhist Art and even to 60s rock posters and record sleeves. The use of organic form is a strong component that can be identified in his work and he adopts this as a starting point. ‘Using organic form as a framework and the transformation of consciousness as a catalyst, I aim to let my imagination do the rest!’
In addition to his smaller scale concepts, Martin has branched out to work on several live illustrations which are a fantastic display of what he, as an artist, is capable of. Live illustration is a relatively new concept for Martin who states, ‘It’s only in the last couple of years that I've really broken out of the confines of my sketchbooks. I started by drawing "live" at The Freeway Poetry Jam events held every month at The Winchester Pub in Bournemouth, and quickly realised that there was a great amount of scope for me to develop my work by simply doing it on a larger scale’. Since, Martin has been commissioned to create his freestyle art work on the walls of shops, bars and in people’s houses. Yet he still retains a passion for his original styles, ‘I still love my pencils, fine liner and nice paper but working on a larger scale has really opened up the possibilities’.
So, what does the future hold for Martin Butler? It appears he has a pretty busy summer ahead. Combining his work with the inspiration and influence that music has always had on him, Martin will be creating pieces for festivals, including a possible collaboration with an outdoor sculptural artist for this year’s Secret Garden Party taking place in July. He has certainly been occupied with commissions and projects having recently completed a ‘Tribe’ themed Illustration story for the Spring issue of Noctis Magazine and with various T-shirt design commissions in the pipeline, and a surfboard to paint for Mambo Surf Deluxe, he shows no signs of slowing down.
If you want to catch some of Martin’s work then head to Bristol from the start of April where he will be exhibiting and selling his creations as well as drawing live in the Collaboration Nation "pop-shop" that will be open for 6 weeks in Bristol’s Quakers Friars (Cabot Circus). Also on the agenda is an exhibition of his work alongside other visionary artists. Watch this space.
Finally we asked Martin who he is fussed about right now. ‘Joot and Natalia Natuka are both incredible Artists…and Emily Elizabeth Bell for some really unusual fine art photography.’ On the music side of things, ‘The Dirty Jerkers, Mountain Feet and Brave Mariner are all Bournemouth bands making the right sort of noises!’
To stay updated on what Martin is up to and where to next see his work, take a look at his Facebook page here and website at: Elixirsue.co.uk