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An Artist’s Home Bursting With Her Own Beautiful Golden-Toned Paintings

Studio Visit

If Eleanor Louise Butt’s expressive paintings look familiar, it’s because the artist has already made her colourful mark on the local and international art scene.

We featured Eleanor back in 2020, (when she was on residency in Cornwall, UK!) but you might also recognise her signature abstract strokes and use of yellow hues from the beautiful mural in Melbourne’s HER Bar!

More recently though, Eleanor has been holed up at her home and studio amongst the forest of the Dandenong Ranges, filling her house with canvases for her new exhibition, ‘All that which sings’.

13th September, 2022

Inside Eleanor Louise Butt’s home, which is FILLED with her latest paintings! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Eleanor Louise Butt has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and the UK since 2014 and has been included in group exhibitions in Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney and Denmark since 2009. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Her work is characterised by her gestural painting style and golden tones. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

These new works will be showcased in her upcoming exhibition, ‘All that which sings’ at Nicholas Thompson Gallery. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

‘I’ve been working on these pieces for the entirety of 2022, with the bulk being made between May-August,’ Eleanor says. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Her sunny, energetic works have even taken over the living room! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Her techniques range from scratching paint with a brush, pushing materials, folding wax to be transformed into bronze, squeezing paint from a tube and manoeuvring it into something else. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Based in the Dandenong Ranges, Eleanor enjoys lush views just outside her home. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

The collection fuses bright colours with intriguing, earthy tones that draw the viewer into the artwork. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Christina Karras
Tuesday 13th September 2022

Artist Eleanor Louise Butt describes her paintings as visual ‘dialogues’, weaving memory and story into her energetic brushstrokes.

‘The initial stroke of paint is akin to an opening sentence in a conversation, from there the rest will flow,’ Eleanor explains. It’s not always easy, and sometimes the outcome is unexpected, but there’s always a sort of ‘resolution’.

‘Some works take weeks or months to complete, and others might be done in a few hours – each work is different. I don’t pre-plan my works so each is a mystery that unfolds with the process,’ she adds. This intuitive, back-and-forth process has dominated the artist’s life in recent months, as she’s worked towards her upcoming solo show at Melbourne’s Nicholas Thompson Gallery.

Eleanor works from her home and accompanying studio in Kallista, spending hours shuffling between multiple paintings at a time, often listening to her 40-plus hour playlist of music to help her get in a ‘painting frame of mind’. Everything from vintage books to daffodils are meaningful references dotted around her space, integral to her process.

‘[My studio] has wonderful afternoon light,’ Eleanor says. ‘The large window overlooks our garden and the mountain ridge above us. I love that my practice is so integrated with our daily lives. Wet paintings hang on the walls of our living spaces to dry, and I can step in and out any time of day or night.’

And after working on ‘All that which sings’ for the entirety of this year, the artist’s home is now completely full of paintings! The works showcase Eleanor’s distinctive, gestural painting techniques, which consist of layering oil paint onto canvas with brushes, rags and even directly from the tube. It makes for a body of work that is uniquely emotive – in large part thanks to her distinctive yellow colour palette. Varying hues of marigold, sunshine yellows and mustard are mixed with deeper, moodier tones in these artworks, which will appear alongside her sculptural works when the exhibition opens later this week.

‘The title piece is probably my favourite, but they all have their place,’ she adds. ‘I will miss living with these paintings as they’ve been slowly filling our home this past year.’ The showcase is wonderfully abstract, with poetic artwork titles that allow you to draw your own meanings from Eleanor’s intriguing and beautiful creations.

See ‘All that which sings’ at Nicholas Thompson Gallery from September 17 until October 8. For previews and price lists please contact the gallery via email or phone.

Nicholas Thompson Gallery
155 Langridge Street
Collingwood, VIC 3066

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net