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Christian Butterfield's Green Light Exhibition at the Corkin Gallery

by WillowWood's Steve Taylor

Last Saturday, Fred and I had the pleasure of seeing the work of a talented young contemporary artist at the Corkin Gallery in the Distillery District. The pieces we saw seemed inspired by earlier Dada and Surrealist movements with portraits of subjects morphed into expressive abstract shapes and canvases covered in collages of images and texts collected from newspapers and magazines.

The artist in question is none other than WillowWood graduate Christian Butterfield. Christian is a self-taught artist who credits retired WillowWood art teacher Madeleine Wynn, with being an early supporter and the first person to recognize and nurture his talents.

When asked about the subject matter of his portraits, Christian simply replied that they are predominantly past friends, lovers, and acquaintances. One series of art pieces called the Apology Flowers were initially created with the intent of reconciling with and apologizing to his subjects. The magazine clips embedded throughout his work, are a snapshot of the social and cultural issues that preoccupied him or that were particularly significant during those relationships.

Christian works at the AKIN Studio Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto and has been represented by the Corkin Gallery since 2018. Christian’s first-ever solo exhibit entitled Green Light will be viewable from September 11 to October 9, 2021, at the Corkin Gallery. For more information, please visit

WillowWood would like to congratulate Christian and encourage everyone to check out his remarkable talent!

Cold #4, 2021 acrylic and collage on canvas 48 x 36 in. (121.9 × 91.4 cm)

Apology Flower #7, 2021

acrylic and collage on canvas

24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm)

Cold #2, 2020 acrylic and collage on canvas 48 x 36 in. (121.9 × 91.4 cm)

Apology Flower #8 (across the bay), 2021 acrylic on linen 84 x 72 in. (213.4 x 182.9 cm)

Portrait #4, 2017 acrylic, gold leaf and collage on canvas 40 x 30 in. (101.6 × 76.2 cm)

Cheeks IV, 2019 acrylic and collage on canvas 60 x 48 in. (152.4 × 121.9 cm)


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