The act of painting for Michael Butler is the triangulation of colour, semiotics and emotion. The emotive response to the contour lines in calligraphy is a response directly from very strong emotions that have been captured on the canvas. These emotions are explored through the expanded field of painting where he creates a sensory experience, as what you hear and smell through music and fragrance could make the viewing of paintings more experiential.

Painting is the primary expression that he focuses on. Within his work there is a rigorous drive to perfect the composition with colour.

There also is an in depth fascination for Butler with The Qing Dynasty and Twenty­fifth Dynasty of Egypt where people from these ancient civilisations mastered the techniques of accessing the unconscious world. In doing this they were able to relay things they saw into powerful iconography that you could see on ceramics and prehistoric wall markings. Overall Butler is communicating the abstract visual language that started with artists such as Kandinsky and Kupka during the early years of the 20th century.

An understanding of Butler's artistic work within broader contexts of contemporary art practice.

Michael Butler’s field of enquiry is divided into two main research topics. Investigating the genesis of ancient hieroglyphics and Chinese calligraphy through the examination of artefacts, and tools used to create written text. As a result of this research painting on canvas is the chosen surface. Using a variety of brushes, and tools to scrape off paint that has been poured on to reveal emblematical metaphors. He is attempting to see how his style of abstraction can respond to calligraphy; the abstract approach is linked to the relationship of lines, angles, curves and shapes.

The paintings are juxtaposed between British and East Asian culture, hence theartist Cai Guo­Qiang eloquently has similar characteristics regarding his ideology on creative freedoms, he states: “I always feel as though I am swinging like a pendulum between Chinese and Western culture”. (Cai 2000 p.117)

Butler is influenced by different cultures, therefore the use of hieroglyphics; symbols taken from The Qing Dynasty and the Nubian Dynasty in Egypt,m specifically where there is a use of semiotics. This should allow people from those geographical locations to feel that the artwork resonates with them.

The narrative that he is attempting to relay is one of meditation while in the motion of painting and mark making. Regardless if people can read this calligraphy text or not, this is not the point, the script in itself might not be an actual word or phrase once it has been articulated.

The second research topic that Butler will examine is if the dream world is an additional dimension in this reality. The act of dreaming is an invisible process that you cannot see with the natural eye. If this unconscious process could prove access to extra dimensions, where maybe time is not present, this could be an access point to examine the superstring theory from a supplementary, uncanny standpoint. According to Sigmund Freud’s book ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’, he insisted that dreams actually do possess significance in unlocking the human mind. He also states, “the dream­content is, as it were, presented in hieroglyphics, whose symbols must be translated, one by one, into the language of the dream­thought”. (Freud, 1997 p. 169)


Michael Butler is a young British emerging artist with Jamaican descent whose work incorporates abstraction, symbolism and shapes and forms, a system he developed to create paintings and sculptures. This is a technique that deals with experimental movement, structure and a three-dimensional drawing style using bodily gestures. His art is inspired by his dreams and the study of colours with emphasis on surface texture. Brushwork and detail are the fundamental attributes to his work.

“ …keeping this manner, but at the same time adding clean, clear and lavished aspects in such profusion to ensure that curiosity is driven away from the cause of observation. ”
- Michael Butler
Butler, J.M. (2008) Fresh Designs the Wonders of Dreams. Shropshire: Vision Print.


Butler’s paintings are often related to the dream world which interlinks with the area under discussion of dreams and the imagination. Often, his paintings have a realistic feel to them, as if he had visited those particular places mentioned within his dreams. There are specific references to creatures, beings, regions and a higher level of communication whilst being there. Butler creates a synthesis of a dream - like motion and high definition of detail within certain pieces.

In 2007 Butler promoted an exhibition at the Millennium Gallery by Frank Bowling, O.B.E., RA who is widely considered to be one of the most distinguished black artists to emerge from post-war British art schools. Later that year Butler was selected by the Wayne Hemingway Association to exhibit works. Michael Butler aspires to exhibit his work in Europe, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.


A most recent work Secrets connotes a dream like awakening and allows the viewer to enter a dream-like world. The artist describes his approach as more of an organic and geometric form to allow freedom within the piece and in the mist of creation, not to force ideas but allow them to grow within his mind. The geometric approach was more about the feeling of contentment, that shape and form was precise within one’s self. In a statement from the collector’s edition published magazine called Fresh Designs the Wonders of Dreams, which gives full exploration of his works, he commented;

“ …Personally, I work continually because art cannot be rushed, you must take your time to perfect and take pleasure in the creative process. If it takes one or two years or more to conclude works let it be so. ”
- Michael Butler



Michael Butler specialises in supplying original paintings and sculptures for public, private and corporate collectors. The paintings and sculptures are totally unique with the emphasis on colour, texture and detail and hand crafted by Michael to produce work of a high standard.


This website is officially owned and operated by the artist himself who handles each order personally so when you buy from you are buying directly from the artist not a publishing house or manufacturer. Michael Butler not only hand signs each original painting but also personally ensures the quality of each piece directly to you when you order.