School of Art
Claudia Williams23 February – 14 May 2004
The unprecedented interest in contemporary Welsh painting and reappraisal of the visual arts in Wales in recent years has created a resurgence of interest in the generation of figurative artists whose careers came to the fore during the post-war period. With her husband, the artist Gwilym Prichard she lived in Wales until 1984 and in France until Spring 2000. They now divide their time between properties in Rochefort-en-Terre in Brittany and Tenby. In 1995 each were awarded the Silver Medal by the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters in Paris.
Since childhood Claudia Williams has drawn and painted those around her. The daily domestic routines of women and children provide an opportunity for works that focus on social interaction Family life has been an enduring theme. All her paintings and drawings have been concerned with human relationships and figures in close proximity. For her, family life and her activities as a painter have been inseparable. She paints lived-in interiors, littered with coffee cups, half-eaten croissants and used table napkins. She has always acknowledged the limitations imposed by her domestic circumstances, and has used it as an opportunity to strive for a harmonious integration of art and life. The sea has continually fascinated her, and the rituals of bathing and beach life have provided rich subject matter. Her inherent sense of design, sensitive handling of vibrant colour and confident figure drawing is manifest not only in her paintings but also her smaller scale works on paper.
The paintings have significance beyond the sitting room, bedroom, kitchen or bathroom. Williams uses the human figure as metaphor, as symbol, as a vehicle for abstract concepts. The drawings and paintings are derived from observation but her figures are not portraits. The act of recording appearance is secondary to Williams’ endeavour to suggest physical types. As a keen observer of human relationships she seeks to evoke inner feeling through descriptions of outer form.
In her paintings and drawings of mothers with their babies, bathers on the beach and musicians at rehearsal Williams captures attitudes and gestures unique to those activities. Her portrayal of maternity and motherhood, and the recurrent theme of domestic interiors and family life are a positive reaffirmation of the European figurative tradition.
Gallery of Images