Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content

Painstakingly detailed, luminous and charged through with a powerful and oddly synergistic energy of historical and political relevance, Butt’s small paintings are fiercely elegant and make their case for strong personal power and a greater feminine mythology. Specializing in the centuries old technique of Mughal miniature painting, Butts uses a brush made from a pigeon quill and hairs from a squirrel’s tail to paint works that detail the strange apotheosis and wondrous regeneration and reclamation of women’s collective power. Images of sacred animals, including an array of birds whose flight is both a liberation and a constraint for the young women who populate these paintings, stand as talisman for the collective grief of the unconscious mind. Butt’s intentions are complicated in that her work exists most emphatically between self-empowerment and dispossession, and while the young women in her paintings appear to be lifted off the ground and into divine ascension by flocks of ghostly birds, the possibility also exists that these same young women may be imperiled. This tension informs Butt’s work so undeniably wherein her paintings become visual evocations of both the glory of being alive and the finality of death.