We are pleased to present ‘Traces of You’, our first solo exhibition for the British painter Gill Button.
Gill Button is well-known for paintings that use images found in the media as their subject. In recreating these as gestural, intimate portraits, Button turns the mass-produced into something deeply personal and specific. It is a practice that looks at how we identify with the media landscape, and how we constitute ourselves in relation to it.
In ‘Traces of You’, Button takes her approach a step further to consider how an image relates to the physical presence of another. A series of close-cropped portraits of figures lying down aim to capture a sense of closeness. Whilst similar in ways to the artist’s media-sourced portraits, the shifted perspective creates a new sense of intimacy. Eyes open, perhaps just blinked awake or on the point of falling asleep, they suggest that moment of hazy consciousness lying next to someone in which time can slip, and what was once there can suddenly be gone. What is left is the memory as an image, as a replacement for what was lost. How it becomes embellished over time is key to how we shape our personal narratives.
The accompanying paintings tell the visual tale of stories compacted into images. Monochrome works reminiscent of old photos echo childhood trips, screen icons, or faces flashed in the media. Large paintings act like poignant moments, coated with the glamour of the silver screen or the languid intimacy of old Impressionist interiors. Button’s work looks not just at how we make the mass-produced image personal, but also how influences from media glamour overlay onto our own recollection of the real. In ‘Traces of You’, she presents a group of works that floats between these two realities: the seemingly timeless dramatic narratives that abound in the media world, and the fragility of the physical relationships that make up our lives.