Island figures in the frame

JASON BUTLER Exhibition Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37929201)

LOOKING at the latest collection of work by artist Jason Butler on show this week, you might think it captured every conceivable walk of Island life.

It is not just that there are portraits of the Lieutenant-Governor, Vice-Admiral Jerry Kyd, the Bailiff, Sir Timothy Le Cocq, or Jersey Financial Services Commission director Jill Britton – there are also images of figures from the arts and sport sectors, as well as from the worlds of health and digital technology.

Last year the artist launched what was intended to be a long-running series of portraits, which he said would “shine light on the Island and its community”.

“I hope it will be possible to show the scope of Jersey and its people,” he said.

Sally Minty Gravett JASON BUTLER Exhibition Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37929233)

A total of 17 portraits have gone on show this week in Mr Butler’s Commercial Buildings studio. Some of the subjects are those with whom the artist has a particular connection, such as his former art teacher Mark Blanchard, while others share the impulse to be creative, like best-selling crime writer Peter James and founder of the Ballet d’Jèrri, Carolyn Rose Ramsey.

The spread also includes, for example, businessman Kevin Keen; Tina Hesse, service manager at Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service; the Dean of Jersey, the Very Rev Mike Keirle; head of the Digital Jersey Academy Rory Steel; and swimming coach Sally Minty-Gravett.

The Bailiff Sir Tim le Cocq JASON BUTLER Exhibition Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37929209)

Mr Butler explained: “‘Islanders’ is an opportunity for me to meet and paint people in Jersey who I feel contribute to the Island in their own specific way. I hope this long-term project will build into something significant and become a visual document of the many fascinating individuals with whom I have come into contact in my life as an artist.”

When he set out, he was keen to stress that he did not have a pre-existing list of people he would be approaching: he wanted to capture Island life as it unfolded over the course of its life cycle, people “he simply met along the way”, as he put it.

Arlene Maltman JASON BUTLER Exhibition Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37929239)

Currently, the work does not have an end date, although Mr Butler expects it to continue throughout the year, so that the 17 portraits now on show represent just a snapshot of this vista of Island life. They were assembled for a private event by Oakglen Wealth last week, but they are on show commencing 29 April from 10am to 5pm at Mr Butler’s studio at 10 Commercial Buildings.

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