‘I am keen to avoid the ‘stare’ of self-portraiture. I am not scrutinising my appearance or my expression in a ‘search for truth’. I am trying to make a painting where I can explore composition, space, light, colour, and how to fit incident into the whole but also maintain my grasp of the initial subject. The 2011 Self-Portraitdepicts me as a painter, in my studio. On the back wall are postcards indicating some different approaches to painting – Barnett Newman, Edgar Degas, Philip Guston, Peter Doig, Chardin, and Chris Offili. The context of the red studio is a nod to Matisse. A number of small studies were done from life to help me make the larger painting.’
Mabbutt’s paintings are in the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Arts Council, London; The Usher Gallery, Lincoln; and Falmouth Art Gallery.