Perryn Butler

shapeshifting

I’ve always made things having grown up with artist parents and being surrounded by creativity, you just do. I had few toys just books, a hammer and nails, bits of old material, lumps of grass and seaweed, flotsam and jetsam, these were my play things. I worked in music, mostly singing from the age of fifteen, and when I was thirty I went to art college and studied sculpture.
I live in the beautiful county of Pembrokeshire, with its fantastic dramatic coastline and the Preseli mountains, where the blue tones come from. Like all artists, the compulsion to create, to make, is a huge driving force and idea may rumble for ages before i pick up a piece of stone. Sometimes i see a lump of stone and know what it is immediately, and just know what I have to remove to make it sing. Other times I have a vague idea for one side of a piece, and it will emerge slowly.
I love earthy natural colours and materials, probably because I have studied primitive art for forty years. I fill my mind with images of things i admire, like or love and they intermingle with existing banks of memory and will eventually pour out again, completely different, as some sort of creativity. It might be carving, painting, jewellery, writing or even songs.
Limited edition sculptures are made from a variety of cast materials, bronze to cold cast stone, they are hand finished, numbered, patinated and signed by me. They are intuitive and fit your hand, and are predominantly about belonging in many ways that human beings find it possible. Whether animal or human, they have a direct connection to the essence of the subject matter. Cold cast bronze or bronze resin is basically the stuff boats are made of mixed with pulverised real bronze metal.
I fell in love with stone. I love it because you cannot manipulate it easily, like you can clay and you have to work in a sot of visual shorthand. When i carve stone it is with a sense of joy, that islike dancing. Music runs through me like a river and i sing all the time when I am working and when i am doing absolutely anything at all. The joy of carving is that it i difficult. You cant stick a piece back on and you are always constricted by the size of the block. This calls for ingenuity and a fluidity of expression that does not exist for me in other materials. I use predominantly lime stones like Bath stone because i like the warm colours and serpentine because you can polish it, the carvings are sometimes cast into a variety of materials to make editions.