Anne Butler

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Material, process and structure are key concepts in Anne Butler’s work. Her making process and firing techniques challenge the fallibility of materials alluding to inherent fragilities. The passage of time and cultural and individual memory is areas of interest which she explores through transformation, sequences and accumulation and dissolution of material.
Her current work is made primarily of parian porcelain which has a marble-like quality. Very thin sheets are cut, assembled and fired. ‘Wax and Wane’ is made of varying thickness of parian porcelain which is cut and assembled into cubes. Porcelain distorts and collapses at high temperatures. These cubes are placed in the kiln at varying temperatures in order to attain the required level of distortion and collapse. The resulting sequence of seven cubes explores the fallibility of structure, material and process as well as alluding to the rhythms and passage of memories and time.
Butler received a BA Ceramics from the University of Ulster, Belfast in 1985 and an MA Ceramics from the University of Wales in 2000. She is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, London and is based in Belfast.

Selected Exhibitions


I trained in ceramics in the University of Ulster and the University of Wales in Cardiff and work from my studio in Northern Ireland

There is much reminiscent of archaeology, geology and architecture in my porcelain sculptures which explore relationships between process, material and the passage of time.

The work is constructed, layered, excavated, deconstructed, collapsed and fragmented to reveal associations between past, present and future, material cultural and individual memory, physical and metaphysical change as well as contrasting qualities such as strength and fallibility, structure and transition, permanence and loss.
My working method is intrinsically connected to the act of making and the endless experimentation with the changing state of parian porcelain. A wide palette of techniques, which include casting, hand-building and sculpting are continually being challenged and developed to contrast the precision of industrial techniques and geometric structure with the fallibility of the handmade. The sculptures are fired multiple times and explore concepts associated parians marble-like quality when solid, its gravity and stratification when layered and its satin -like translucency when thin.

Exhibitions and a bit about where my work can be seen.

Colossal Magazine. May

Create Day 2021

Awards and Competitions
2023 193rd RHA ESB Moran Award for Sculpture.
2023 Shortlist Faenza Prize
2022 Arts Council of Northern Ireland,Support for individual Artist
2022 Honourable Mention Korean International Biennale
2021Korean International Ceramics Biennale,
2020Honourable Mention.Korean International Ceramics Biennale,
2020 Ceramic Monthly Competition. Contrast and Harmony
2020 Arts Council of Northern Ireland,Support for Individual Artists
2019 Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Support for individual Artists
2018 Rosemary James Memorial Fund Award, Administered by the ACNI

Public and Private Collections
2022 Ceramic Art Museum. Korea
2021 Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Art Collection
2021 Diploma Collection Royal Ulster Academy, Belfast
2020 Changchung International Ceramic Museum, China
2017/19 Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Art Collection.
2017 Hunts Museum, Irish Contemporary Contemporary Ceramic Collection, Limerick. Ireland

Exhibitions and Fairs
2023 Solo Exhibition Objects of Time, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
2023 Pathways, Craft Northern Ireland, Belfast
2023 193rd Royal Hibernian Academy, Annual Exhibition, Dublin
2023 LandMarks, National Craft and Design Gallery, Kilkenny
2022 140th Royal Ulster Academy, Annual Exhibition, Ulster Museum
2022 Land Marks, Ceramics Ireland, Argilla Italia, Faenza Italy
2022 Alpha House, Royal Ulster Academy, joint exhibition with Cara Gordon and Karen Daye- Hutchinson
2022 Conjuring Forms, National Design and Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
2022 Made in Ireland, Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin and FE MCWilliam Gallery
2021 Made in Ireland, Design and National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
2022 Potverdorie, Keramiekcentrum Tiendschuur, Tegelen, Netherlands
2021 Korean international Ceramic Biennale, Icheon, Korea
2021 Annual Ulster Academy Exhibition, Ulster Museum, Belfast
2021 DCCoI Portfolio: Critical Selection. Doneraile, Ireland
2020 International Academy of Ceramics, New Members Exhibition, Guozhong Ceramic Art Museum, Beijing, China
2020 Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Ulster Museum, Belfast
2020 Ceramic Ireland Triennial, Land Marks, Farmliegh Gallery, Dublin Touring to Argilla Faenza Italy 2021
2020 Unlocked, Craft NI Gallery. Belfast
2020 Arts council Collection Exhibition, Craft NI Gallery, Belfast
2020 Changchung International Ceramics festival, Changcung, China
2019 Korean International Ceramic Biennale, Icheon, Korea
2019 Royal Ulster Academy, Annual Exhibition, Belfast
2019 Royal Society of Sculptors Annual Exhibition, London
2019 Artists in Craft, Cill Rialiag Arts Centre, Ireland
2019 Showcase, Rosie James Memorial fund, Ulster museum, Belfast
2019 Present and Collect, Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery, London
2018 Christmas exhibition, Craft and Design Gallery, Leeds
​2018 Royal Ulster Academy, Annual Exhibition, Ulster Museum
​2018 Sculpture in Context, Botanic Gardens, Dublin
2018 Summer Exhibition, Royal Society of Sculptors, London
2018 Contained, Frocess Yard, Cloughmills
2018 Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle, Ireland
2018 The Untold Story, Hallows Gallery, Belfast
2018 True Colours, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
2017 Royal Ulster Academy, 134th Annual Exhibition, Belfast
2017 Bravura, Blue Egg Gallery, Wexford
2017 Participant in The Baker a Dozen, Round House Gallery
2017 New member showcase, Contemporary Applied Arts, London RDS Craft Award Exhibition, Dublin
2017 7 Shades, Downpatrick Arts Centre
2017 Paragon, Spacecraft, Belfast
2017 Hotpots, Flowerfield Art Centre, Portrush
2017 Narratives in Making Ruthin Gallery Wales
2017 Artist in Craft, Cill Rialaig. Kerry
2017 Belfast Harlequin Art exhibition
2017 Narratives in Making, Critical Selection, Portfolio. National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
2016 Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition
2016 Selection for Innovations in Ceramics, Cambridge
2016 Table Exhibition, Butler House, Kilkenny
2016 Selected Exhibition -Boyle Arts Festival
2016 Art of Craft,Selected exhibition, Market Place Theatre, Armagh
2015 – Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition,
2003 – Joint Exhibition with Beverley Carpenter, ‘Vial’ Royal Society of Sculptors, London
2002 – Joint Exhibition, ‘Trace Elements’. University of Glamorgan, Wales
2001 – Joint Exhibition, Vial’ Wysing Arts Cambridge.
2000 – Group Exhibition, ‘Relic’ University of South Glamorgan, Wales
2000 – Past Present Future, Cambourne, Cambridgeshire
2000 – ‘Science, Art and Technology’ Selected Exhibition. Newbury, Wales
2000 – ‘ Objects in Time’ Selected Exhibition, Brixton Art Gallery. London
2000 – ‘ Fin de Siegle’. Group Exhibition, Kilvert Gallery, Hereford
1999 – Teishoin, Hekinan-shi, Aichi-Ken, Japan