George Butler is an unexpected sight on the front line, with his pen in one hand and paper and ink in the other.
In this conversation with Harry Parker, George will reflect on his 10 years of reporting on crises in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. He will introduce the humans behind the headlines and explain how he captures their stories in his striking artwork.
One of George’s most recent projects, commissioned by the National Army Museum, was to document a very different conflict: the war against Covid-19. For this assignment, he created images of the Army’s response to the pandemic in a variety of UK settings.
British Army medical, logistics and engineering planners have assisted the civilian response to the virus. Much-needed PPE supplies have been sourced and delivered, and thousands of Covid tests have been carried out. George will discuss what it was like to be involved in this contemporary collecting project.
George Butler is an award-winning artist specialising in current affairs. His ink and watercolour drawings are made in situ in war zones, refugee camps and disaster areas all over the world. His work, including coverage of the Syrian Civil War, has been published by ‘The Times’, the BBC, ‘The New York Times’ and the ‘Guardian’. His work has been exhibited at the V&A Museum and Lambeth Palace. He is co-founder of the Hands Up Foundation, which has raised over £4 million to support teachers and doctors in Syria.
Harry Parker was educated at Falmouth College of Art and University College London. He joined the British Army when he was 23 and served in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009. He worked in the Foreign Office before writing his debut novel, ‘Anatomy of a Soldier’ (Faber, 2016). He is the Creative Director of the Chelsea History Festival and teaches at the Royal Drawing School.