Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meet Your Makers - Daniel & Matthew Butterworth

Brothers Daniel & Matthew Butterworth are figurative painters who in the past have been known to collaborate on the same painting.

And man, can these guys paint.

Their new show at Stockroom however - called - ‘Taste It’ - will be made up of individual works by both artists.

Both regional artists, Daniel is based in Kyneton and Matthew lives in Romsey. Both have shown their work in galleries around Victoria and Australia, receiving various commissions in recent years and their work featuring in a number of Victorian gallery collections.

Above, work by the Butterworth brothers for 'Taste It'.

'Taste It' opens April 16 (and continues until May 15), and will also reveal a striking contrast in size, with Matthew creating small intimate works and Daniel exhibiting works large in scale.

Not only that, they have recruited a chef for their opening at the gallery!

"Hmmm, a chef.." I hear you say.

Stephen Turner is the chef who will "interpret" 4-5 five works in "edible creations" says Daniel, at the show’s opening event on April 16. "He will evoke the ‘mood’ or ‘feel’ of the paintings in the form of taste."

It all sounds very strange and extraordinary.. Daniel Butterworth kindly spent some time with Stockroom to answer a few key questions'about his and brother Matthew's painting, and the not-so strange pairing of art and food...

How would you describe yours and Matthew's artistic and working relationship?

Daniel Butterworth: We are very close. We have supported each other in every way sharing the great times and also the bad. There is a lot of trust, knowing that when a work has been passed on that it will come back better for it.

Right, work from 'Taste It'.

And the work you both do?

DB: When working together we create work that is unique to both of our individual work. Matthew and I have similar styles with noticeable differences. This exhibition Matthew will be showing a series of intimate portraits were as my work will be bold and in your face. The contrasts will prove to be an exciting show.

What's it like working on one another's paintings? Is it an unusual experience or a natural one?

DB: Working on a piece that Matthew has had first go at is exciting! Having worked out what the image will be together, the absence of the work builds excitement and curiosity. Once I get the work, it doesn't matter what time or what day it is I need to start on it without delay.

And why did you decide to do a show where you painted individually?

DB: As I mentioned before, when we collaborate the work is unique to our individual work and I believe that both our individual and collaborative work demands attention.

What inspired 'Taste It'?

DB: We were at a sculpture show and we bumped into [chef] Stephen Turner, we got talking and I suggested that we could collaborate using his skills as a chef to bring another element to the work. Over the next few months we were thrashing around a few ideas, bringing us to 'Taste It'.

This is the first time I have worked with Stephen. I met him through a work colleague.

Left, work from 'Taste It'.

What do you think the audience will get out of the 'Taste It' show? As in what kind of experience do you hope they have?

DB: Hopefully the audience will get a lot. We would like them to be attracted as well as repulsed. What we aim for is for the the viewer not being able to walk past any one of our works without giving them time.

What's the best thing about collaborating? And the most 'challenging'?

DB: The best thing is the excitement. Challenging.. Well the most challenging is the distance we live apart, but it isn't a huge problem.

Who or what inspires your work?

DB: Family, Freud, Chapman brothers and life.

And more importantly... Are you going to eat the food Stephen makes on opening night? And are we invited to as well?!

DB: Absolutely! Everyone is encouraged to try some of Stephens creations...

Right, 'Matisse' by Daniel Butterworth.

'Taste It' opens 4.30pm on Saturday April 16 at Stockroom, and continues until May 15.

Find out more about Daniel Butterworth here and view more of Daniel and Matthew's previous work here.

Words: Megan Spencer. Thanks to Daniel Butterworth for the interview and images.