John Butler, Woodcarver
23 Butchers Row, Pannier Market, Market Place
Best described as a cartoonist in wood, John Butler's surreal and gently humorous carvings make his gallery an essential destination for visitors and locals alike.
With a background in theatre and animation, using traditional tools handed down by his father, John can be seen at work in his studio. Examples of his craft are imaginatively displayed and artfully lit.
" I like the sound and smell of carving, " he explains. " There's a physical effort involved in transforming the original spark of an idea into a finished work. "
Beyond the gallery, John Butler's carvings take their place in the public domain. " The Helping Hand " on Bideford Quay, a series of benches on the Tarka Trail and the " Newsboy " in Mill Street are highlights.
With sketched and completed ideas drawn from his own family and various characters in his home town, John's work displays both a personal warmth and a truthful humanity.