Interviewsand Articles


Frances Butler: A Garden of Shadow Effects

by Frances Butler, Oct 3, 1999



My work has been a long experiment into many techniques that show the way in which obsessive work, small decisions made in the service of an overall plan, often taking a long time, encourages the state of semi-detached reverie, encourages creative metaphoric thinking, and, if given enough attention, allows for the direct reproduction of the tension field of intellectual creation on the visual plane. I know of this process from my own experience, and I have elicited descriptions of it from many conversations with garden makers, especially those who could be called untrained artists,and whose garden projects could be called obsessive.

I have documented these obsessive gardens in my drawings (these, too, are obsessive), and my garden projects are expansions of these drawings, involving layers of time and of structure, from the overall site to the final covering of surfaces with tiled images, all in the service of recording the style of work and thought that blends language and spatial cognition with visual and body skills. The ultimate goal, the reverie garden, exists to argue for these work modes, leading to evoked, not simply caught, creativity. —Frances Butler

About the Author

Frances Butler now lives in France  


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