Adam James Butcher is an artist who specialises in portrait sculpture. Having graduated from Wimbledon School of Art in 1989, Butcher now divides his time between exhibiting, carrying out private commissions and working as an art teacher in schools. Butcher has also been the driving force behind a new initiative for site-specific sculpture in schools, where pupils are encouraged to work alongside practising sculptors.
Dedicated to creating a true likeness to sculptural expression, Butcher’s sculptures bare a negation of familiarity within the abstracted faces. It can never be a cold statue as life lies dormant within, ready to burst forth with a flash of light, this immortality of self further enhanced by the timeless use of medium. The following quote by Sam Hunter on his essay on Marino Marini sums up Butcher’s view of sculpture perfectly:
‘For him, the sculptural portrait was not only likeness, capturing the true appearance of an individual as well as his idiosyncrasies, but also a means of tapping into the eternal.’
Sculpture for Butcher is specialised and ‘quite a luxurious thing.’ Butcher is keen to explore the face in abstraction through an extreme close up. A play of the eye and the expanse of vision will be experimented with, such as how
the eye focuses and to what extent abstraction is able to maintain a semblance of recognition.
Butcher’s drawings have a more casual, impromptu air to them. His style can be seen as illustrative, yet, like his sculpture, an uncanny likeness is always present within all his works.
Site Specific Sculpture
Site specific sculpture is an innovative interactive learning tool for kids using the medium of sculpture. A group of kids will come up with their own brief and during the design process several school curriculum subjects will be tackled and seen in a new light, for example chemistry, mathematics, history and geography. The final idea will then be undertaken by a local sculptor who will make these ideas come to life and create the finished product.
This project teaches teamwork, application of curriculum knowledge in an everyday setting through an artistic medium. Butcher is open to more projects, if anyone has an interest or any questions regarding site specific sculpture, feel free to contact him. http://sitespecificsculpture.wordpress.com/
Butcher is very keen on the field of observation and through this the representation of real life. Inspiration would occur in everyday settings such as sitting in a café, or drawings of his family or those around him.
Butcher is very influenced by Impressionist style especially painting en plein air. Edgar Degas and Pierre Bonnard are among his favourite painters. In a more contemporary sense, Butcher is a big fan of David Hockney, especially with his hyper-real relationship to colour in which abstraction occurs.
To begin with an initial free consultation is given during which the client’s ideas are discussed. These are then developed through a series of two or three dimensional sketches. Once these are agreed on, an estimate of cost can be given. Prices vary depending on the size of the sculpture and the cost of the casting materials.
Apart from the inevitable minor changes which may occur during the realisation of a project, the final approved sketch provides a blueprint for the completed work. This will serve as a contract between artist and client.
Portrait sculptures are typically cast in bronze; however Butcher has been commissioned to use other materials such as cement fondue, plaster, ceramics and bronze resin. Butcher makes a point of being involved in all stages of the casting process and uses it as a means of reviewing and refining the sculptural qualities of each piece.
‘I commissioned Adam to carry out a bronze bust of my daughter. She was 12 years old at the time and I thought it was a wonderful idea to capture her at the brink of adulthood. The bust sits in our living room as a find reminder of past times as she now flits around between home and university.’
Butcher is open to all commissions; drawings, sculpture, paintings, collage or digital print.