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'I have always been drawn to places where the presence of people can be felt, whether they be current occupants or the long departed spirits of the past. I am intrigued by the relationship between people and the landscape; the way in which patterns of life become recorded within the environment, alongside natural processes'
Laura Butler was born and raised in Belfast. She studied art and design at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Co. Antrim and Fine Art at Exeter College of Art and Design and holds a BA honours Upper Second degree in Fine Art. She studied both Painting and Photography. When faced with deciding between these two disciplines Laura majored in Photography because she could paint at home but needed the college darkroom facilities for Photography. She also explored moving images and produced short 16mm films, processing these by hand, editing and adding sound.
Laura's artwork was included in group exhibitions in Devon and Cornwall around graduation and she was an active member of the Exeter Film Workshop undertaking teaching and audio-visual support for community groups.
Through a part-time post as an audio-visual and 'life skills' assistant in a centre for young people with special needs, Laura decided to pursue a career in the caring professions and obtained a postgraduate qualification in this field from the University of Exeter. Laura continued to paint but it was not until the millennium that she began to produce artwork in earnest again and undertook some commissions. In 2001, chronically homesick, she returned from England to live in her native County Antrim, which features extensively in her paintings. From 2007 onwards she exhibited her paintings online. Laura continues to successfully balance full-time work in her professional career with part-time painting and photography.
In 2010 Laura was selected as the solo artist by the Hilliard Gallery for the Kansas Irish Festival. In 2011 and 2012 a number of her paintings were displayed at the Jam Art Factory, Dublin. Her first solo exhibition in Ireland, 'Living Stones' was held at the Museum at the Mill, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim during March and April 2014 and the exhibition is also to be hosted by the Museum and Civic Centre, Antrim Street, Carrickfergus in October 2014.