C A T H Y B U T C H E R
'Since childhood I have experienced Pareidolia: seeing recognisable images in otherwise random and unrelated objects and patterns. I also remember imagining human emotions as animals. This has influenced my work in many ways, although I only recently made the connection.
'I use a single sheet of clay, draped like a skin or fabric over a newspaper core. Embarking on a sculpture is always full of anticipation as I avoid preparatory sketches and reference material. By letting go of preconceptions I can respond intuitively to the clay and embrace chance, led by how the clay wants to move. I am careful not to overwork the clay as it’s energy and elasticity are easily lost. It is the act of making that I want to capture as well as the essence of the animal. I enjoy how a seemingly abstract form can be far more evocative than a literal representation.
'Long after they are fired works can continue to surprise me, probably due to the happy accidents within them. Sometimes they look as though they could simply morph into a different animal altogether.'
Cathy Butcher studied Theatre Technical Arts and Interpretation at Wimbledon School of Art before working as a freelance sculptor and prop maker and then as a portrait sculptor at Mme Tussauds for 7 years. It was during this time that her interest in ceramics grew, joining a part-time diploma in ceramics and drawing at The City Lit and then courses further afield including Iceland and Greece.
With the opportunity to take on a studio space, Cathy began to exhibit her work across the UK. After then taking time out to raise her family, she set up her own studio at her home in South London and embarked on a new body of work.