Articles by Huw David Jones
Evelyn Williams’ paintings explore the subtleties and complexities of relationships and human predicament. They are very personal images which chronicle the life of the artist as a child, lover, mother or grandmother.
Born in 1929, Williams studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, then the Royal College of Art, before attracting the attention of the art world for winning the John Moore Prize for Sculpture in 1961. She held her first major retrospective at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1972, and today her work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the National Museum of Wales. This is her second solo exhibition at the Martin Tinney Gallery, and includes 20 new paintings.
Young women with pale white faces and straight long hair feature in many of Williams’ images. With their elegant pose, detailed complexion and sense of religiosity, they recall the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. Elsewhere, she has produced a series of Gothic forest scenes which posses an ominous mood of fear and danger. These suggest a darker side to the artist’s character.
Williams’ work is still little known in her native Wales. This is perhaps because she eschews popular themes like community, landscape or national identity. However, the current exhibition, together with an accompanying illustrated catalogue written by Nicholas Usherwood, should attract many new admirers.
Evelyn Williams is at the Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff, from Thurs 2 Oct to Sat 25 Oct, 2008.
This post was originally published by Buzz magazine.