2007, Coloured pastel on coloured paper
This superb self portrait drawing has a still, almost meditative atmosphere. You sense this is as much a portrait of the internal as the external. The glowing red and the halo of yellow help to create a feeling of spiritual communion and piety. Phillip Butah has talked to me about his self-portrait drawings as studies in self-awareness and understanding. He is exploring different aspects of himself and what it is to be human: the physical, emotional and spiritual.
There are some wonderful details in this picture, which are worth looking at such as the lively curls of individual hairs highlighted against the yellow light, and the pattern and texture of his shirt. They show me an artist who has a visual curiosity, rare in the instant age we live in. He reveals to us the exceptional in the ordinary, and with such a beautiful delight and insight