Annabel Butler

  • "When teaching drawing I have noticed how surprised students are by a fundamental aspect of looking. When our eyes are focused on a small detail in the visual field we are incapable of appraising the larger view at the same time. Likewise, as we scan a broad view our shifting of focus to an object within it occurs over several moments. It takes time to comprehend the relationship of the parts within the whole, and form what we call a mental picture.

    The idea of the picture, an image over which the eyes can roam and in which we enjoy simultaneous appraisal of the large view and the small detail, had its first tangible existence in the art of painting. Sometimes I think the picture is a mental entity that I can hold complete in my mind, but it dissolves as I try to examine it closely. The picture is an invention of art.

    In her current group of assemblages made from her own paintings, Annabel Butler has undone the traditional pre-modern function of the picture - to render a seamless illusion of visibility - and created representations of the process of perception. Through echoes and reverberations they spell out the structure of seeing. The works are intriguing to contemplate, a series of impressions within impressions in which the depiction of light and shadow can be traced from the painted representation into the shadows cast by pieces set in relief. The shift in emphasis from her earlier work is profound, suggesting entirely new possibilities."

    Joe Frost, 2015


    Annabel Butler has exhibited extensively in Australia, as well as internationally in New York and across Europe. Her work features in a number of collections.