Celia Butler makes work about adornment and the mediated fantasy world of feminine beauty. To her, adornment speaks about value, importance, and cultural roles.
The valueless, cheap substance of sugar is extremely important to Celia’s work. She uses a technique called sugar pulling to sculpt candy bows as a means to comment on the worth and importance associated with adornment and, more importantly, the idealized female. Her use of the bow has a direct reference to the value of objects and to femininity, just as it signifies the importance of an object through its role as an embellishment of a gift. Celia transfers that same idea of objectification, specialness, and female value to the body. Her most current work combines pulled-sugar objects with photographs that directly reference fashion media.
Celia holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. She has received a Creative Promise Award from the Surface Design Association as well as the Susan Lordi and Dennis Marker Award for Excellence in Fiber. Recently, she was a finalist for the Mercedes-Benz Emerging Artist Award and currently has work on loan to the company.
Celia Butler, Sugar Gazing, 2011. C print. Photo courtesy of the artist.