Eleanor Louise Butt makes process led paintings using a personal language of recurring shapes, negative space and distinctive colour. Through this ongoing investigation of material and archetypes, she adopts the potentialities of paint to describe abstract phenomena and experiences.
Conceptually, Butt considers the passage of time through painting’s open pictorial field. Here, forms and gestures interact, generating relationships and mnemonic narratives. This placement of features such as orbs and shadows is vital to the completed works, and much of the artist’s process concerns this highly considered decision making. Via this conversation of forms, Butt generates an energetic exchange that recalls her own experiences while projecting an image that is open-ended and elemental.
Materially, the work devotes much attention to figure-ground dynamics. The paintings’ individually prepared surfaces become a somewhat cosmological space, with coarse linens often being saturated in an iconic yellow hue. Built-up forms act out movements that describe, however abstractly, a personal cartography. Sketches and gestures create links and pathways. Through these applications and erasures, Butt’s canvases become a diaristic site for posing questions and receiving answers, generating agency through an intimate and reciprocal relationship between artist and object.
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work: the Wurundjeri people and Elders past and present of the Kulin nations.