The captain knew too well where he was
March 19 - April 26, 2015
Julie M. Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition in Toronto by interdisciplinary artist Carly Butler.
Butler, whose piece Hurricane was a finalist for the prestigious RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2014, makes use of subtle and compelling resources to develop her conceptual discourse. The permanent use of white, dark lines and text, confers her work with a minimalist approach that serves to delineate recurrent themes, and reflect on issues around longing, regret, and nostalgia. Her practice is permeated by a sense of displacement caused by often moving from place to place during her youth. The idea that ‘here’ is never good enough, mirrors modern society’s obsession with moving and travelling in order to be relevant, validated.
As the daughter of a Master Mariner, Butler spent much of her childhood close to and at sea, something that would later come to be an intrinsic part of her artistic practice. These pieces, greatly influenced by weather and navigation symbols, poke light fun at those who don’t understand meteorological codes and the language of the sea (herself included). They encourage a different interaction and a newly found space for reinterpretation. The truth of the works, however, lies in the respectful representation of real weather and navigational symbols. They are affectionate and accurate abstractions that tread carefully between reverence and absurdity. In her work, Butler often uses direct quotes extracted from navigation manuals and presents them in a decontextualized manner, somehow turning them into inspirational messages—You can always drop the anchor or choose an object which is not too far away, she humorously advises.
Butler’s practice and the works in this exhibition span through a range of artistic manifestations including drawing, photography and video art. She describes her work as idea-based, and her medium of choice determined by her narrative intentions. Even though Butler’s pieces make direct references to nature and her relationship with natural elements, her works on canvas and paper are created on drywall compound and gesso, alluding to a domestic inescapability and an unfulfilled desire to live differently and transcend the confines of conventional living.
Carly Butler currently lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, an MA in Post War and Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute and a BA in Sociology and Art History from University of Leeds. She also attended Central Saint Martins in London, UK where she specialized in video, performance and installation. Her work can be found in a number of privated collections, including the Art Bank of Nova Scotia, Beau’s Brewery, and Concrete Contemporary/Waddington’s Auction House in Toronto.
Drywall compound, gesso, graphite, ink on canvas
36 x 48 inches
Drywall compound, gesso, ink and graphite on canvas
80 x 60 inches