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George Butler exhibition- Bankside Gallery

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Amina Mundi: Drawn Stories of Migration

I went to see an exhibition last year by the artist and reportage illustrator George Butler. The exhibition featured paintings and drawings of his of which he has worked on over the past five years. “Amina Mundi” translates to “the soul of the earth”. The exhibition focuses on animal and human migration and has been created in Iraq, Africa, Syria and Eastern Europe. George Butler highlights that it is human nature to relocate and adapt to environmental conditions, and illus- trates the beautiful, yet harsh conditions of doing so.

To me, the exhibition seemed to depict a very personal approach to the world wide issue. It came across as a more personal experience, because in each caption George Butler would explain who he’s drawn and their story they discussed with one another. He sketches the people by permission, and there will always be others stood around him watching, which means it’s an honest portrayal of the person or subject matter. News nowadays can be manipulated and misleading, which makes his experience even more personal and compelling.

When you first walked into the room, the drawings started off with animal migration, such as the mass movement of wildebeests, and then moved onto portraits and people, including refugees huddled around a camping fire. Each of the drawings has its own story, which made the audience think of the people and the situation over just viewing an image. When I went, George was also there him- self, meaning I was bound to hear him talk and answer any questions about the work. The work ranged between ink drawings and paintings to collages and even an illustrated globe.

I particularly liked this piece of work. It has been created using ink and collage and depicts a market in Delhi. I find it very unique how he has composed each individual piece of paper to create this layout. Not only has he painted on paper with ink and pen, George has also painted onto the glass, cut out individual sections, added extracts and combined everything together. It was constructed over the space of two days in his usual style using colour in some areas, and leaving others un- coloured.

My interpretation of the exhibition


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