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Alison Seymour Williams – Exhibition

Life Inspired by African and Asian Textiles

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‘Life Inspired by African and Asian Textiles’ – A collection of pastels, drawings and innovative prints

The exhibition runs from 14 October to 20 December. Opening times are Wednesday 12-4pm; Thursday 10-1pm; Friday-Sunday 10-4pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Alison works in a studio/workshop in the farmyard of her home in Waterley Bottom, integrating her work as an artist with her responsibilities as a small holder. She writes:

I take inspiration from everything around me be it the animals, objects, flowers, the landscape or interior settings of our home.

Media

Drawing is always important and is where I start, whether using charcoal, pencil, pastels, or making monoprints; if ever I find myself blocked I draw my way out of it!

Printmaking denotes a particular way of seeing, because slight variations on the same drawing can be made and tried again and again. The marks and textures are a vocabulary just as they are with any other means of expression, but additionally, intention and accident can more easily be merged and controlled.

Colour

I am particularly fond of black and white imagery because there is so much variation to work with; so many tonal possibilities and so many variations in the way marks can be made.

Working with colour is another whole dimension where I have learnt to adhere to a strictly limited palette especially when using pastels; the addition of colour to all the above variations of monochrome can be mind boggling. However there are no limits to how many mediums I might use at one time: I am no longer a purist and will try anything that I can make work.

Composition

Composing a picture is the building block; if the composition goes wrong so does everything else. If I work from nature I spend a great deal of time selecting a position and lining things up; looking at the negative spaces and working out how they will interact with the positive ones.

Working with still-life is different because you control the elements; one can change, move around and deselect elements that do not fit or you just do not like! Drawing life, as in animals or people, is different again, as the composition comes from within and there is no time to rearrange.

Given all these disparate ways of looking at the world I sometimes feel that my ideas are going in multiple different directions so what I hope to do in the next few months is to tame some of my ideas into a more composite form.

Forging relationships

I see myself bringing my animals and flowers metaphorically, (even physically), into my studio and forging a relationship with objects both inside and out.

I have frequently used Indian and African textiles as a backcloth for still life and realised that the animals on the cloth take on more life than the pots in front of them. I wonder where this will take me? The one thing about art is that you should never limit yourself by knowing the answer before you start or indeed until you finish.

About Alison Seymour Williams

Education:

1975–8: BA Hons. Visual Art – University College of Wales, Aberystwyth

1978-9: Advanced Diploma in Painting and Printmaking St. Martin’s School of Art , London

1980-81 PGCE Art Whitelands College, Roehampton, London

Art Teaching Experience (Drawing, Life drawing, Printmaking and Painting)

1981-8: Further Education and Secondary Level various schools and colleges in London

1989-95: Further Education Bristol and Gloucestershire

2015-19: Voluntary classes for vulnerable adults.

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