‘From an Island’ by Alex Williams
Private View at Fosse Gallery: Sunday 17th May 2015, 11am – 4pm
The Exhibition continues until Saturday 6th June 2015.
View Alex Williams Exhibition
Trio of Calves
I’ve known Alex for over twenty years. He’s a passionate man. Passionate about his family, passionate about every aspect of life circulating round him and always passionate about painting. Constantly looking for new challenges, he is more interested in what he is going to do next than past achievements. But a couple of years ago he seemed to have found himself in a creative corner. Then came the offer to be the artist in residence at The Griffis Art Center in New London, Connecticut. Being back in the USA again (he’d lived in California for three years in the 1970s), lifted him up and encouraged him to approach his work with renewed vigour.
‘From An Island’ exhibits the fruits of this experience in these wonderful paintings infused now with a bolder and, at times, more edgy style. They are particularly enhanced by the sheer physicality of the framing. Made from found materials – wood, copper, corrugated iron and aluminium – the frames are an essential part of the works taking us away from the forensic feeling of paintings behind glass.
It has always intrigued me that Alex rarely paints from direct observation. Instead he digs deep inside himself. Memory is his stimulus. This can clearly be seen in the themes present in his work which draw on the places, events, objects, people and animals that have influenced him and have been stored away for future reference.
His ‘Farm Art’ – featuring the farmers, animals and landscape of the Welsh Borders – is still central. He quietly portrays the dignity of labour in the face of increased marginalisation and the mutual alliance of farmers and animals in maintaining their way of life. Equally present is Alex’s enjoyment of the topsy turvey worlds of entertainers, artists, film stars, musicians and circus performers. People he never needed to be told how wonderful they were as he’d found that out for himself. These narrative paintings are like small films, carefully honed until their final form satisfies him.
His great sense of playfulness is always evident too. Art Shed with the hen and cock waiting for the guillotine door to take the fingers off the first person who has the temerity to take their offspring – the egg lying in its shadow. The heart shape created by the arms and shoulders of the bride in Street Wedding. The cows, in Barn of Love, voyeuristically looking in on a moment of human passion. The Gauguin tribute of Southern Girls with its hint of the Tropics wedged in the Welsh Hills. In The Hens Are Laying, perhaps the farmer’s wife is also herself pregnant whilst the bull behind her is ready to make his own contribution to the process of creating new life.
What I relish most is that Alex has always ignored trends and styles. He has determinedly done his own thing and I admire him for that. I hope his paintings will give you as much pleasure as they give to me.
Watch Alex William’s short video to get an insight into what influences his work>>>
© Fosse Gallery Fine Art