These are extracts of articles related to Hamad Butt artwork and exhibitions.

Finding a vocation

By Stephen Ramsay

"Back in the 1980s I was asked by an art student called Hamad Butt to make a glass ladder filled with iodine crystals, three giant Newton’s cradles filled with chlorine gas, and a walk-through archway filled with bromine. Over the couple of years that I worked with Hamad he was often very ill – he was dying of AIDs at a very young age.

"The installation was displayed at Southampton Art College and I did not hear from him again. A few years later, I was contacted by his family who told me that he had sadly passed away, but they also informed me that they would like me to rebuild the installation, as it had been selected to be shown at a ‘Rites of Passage’ exhibition at the Tate Gallery.

"I always like to think that the time and energy I spent with Hamad on designing the ladder and making it turn the iodine crystals to gas in sequence was his own stairway to heaven."

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Art au Lait!

By Stuart Morgan

Stuart Morgan traces the brief history of Milch, the Gallery that planned to reach the parts that other galleries don’t reach

After running for only five months, the Milch Gallery closed on November 24, 1990. Fifteen months later, it reopened as just Plain Milch, less than half a mile from its original home. At a time which has proved less than propitious for art in general, the return of the organisation with the silliest name in London has been hailed by some as the beginning of the end of the recession. Others have seen it simply as the beginning of the end. Milch has always had that effect on people. Remember the ad with the frighteningly endowed milkmaid swinging buckets of cream? Or the flirtatious transvestites serving champagne at the reopening party? Milch cultivates what other galleries detest. Snooty assistants? Double-breasted suits? Sloane Rangers? ‘Too fucking polite for me...’. The American accent belongs to Tamara Chodzko who spent three years on Cork Street learning the trade and who is trying to unlearn, fast. ‘Before long we hope to be employing Sloanes as gallery cleaners’ – that Canadian twang is Lawren Maben’s – ‘And they’ll all be called Camilla’.

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JEAN FISHER (1942–2016)

By Omar Kholeif

I REMEMBER GOING AROUND to my dear mentor Jean Fisher’s house on an average bleary London night to get my education. This wasn’t the education of textbooks or customary art history but a journey into the late 1980s and early ’90s in Britain, where many a queer writer and artist had spent time sitting in the very same seat as me. Hamad Butt and Stuart Morganwere but two examples whom Fisher cited as close. After Butt died from AIDS-related causes, she fought tooth and nail, lobbying the art world to get his archive and artworks into the Tate’s collection.

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