Upcoming Exhibition: 'Capturing Carpathia'
George Butler's new solo exhibition.
George Butler, illustrator and explorer, was peculiarly drawn to working in Transylvania, having previously covered more ‘newsworthy’ topics in Syria and Afghanistan, to name but a few. In collaboration with the Global Heritage Fund he set out to illustrate life in the Carpathian villages of Transylvania – a part of the world that escapes the media-eye and remains somewhat unspoiled, at least for now. He spent two seasons living with locals, capturing a potentially fast-vanishing way of life and architecture through a very personal, evocative medium that is perhaps more naturally suited to covering traditional farming and living practices than, say, photography. Butler’s dip pen and ink illustrations manage to be both of immediate and intimate. The artist says:
There’s a certain fatigue with photography; there’s only so many images you can look at. Drawing is simply a different way of doing things. You’re really involving yourself with the subject. I know all the names of all the people I drew; I know where they live; they know who I am. I think all of those things come across in the images.
Interestingly, despite having worked on far more explicitly political subjects, Butler cites this project as his most political to date. He feels it is directly relevant to people in the U.K. because of common participation in the E.U. But we know hardly anything about Romania: it belongs to the part of the world we missed out on in our rush to get on newly-affordable flights to far-flung corners more manicured for so-called exoticism.
Text by Dasha Lisitsina.