School of Art
Looking the Other Way / Edrych y Ffordd Arall
Relief Prints by Thomas Williams20 October – 28 November 2008
“Looking The Other Way” comprises a selection of relief prints by Thomas Williams, a self-taught printmaker living in London who has been making prints for about 15 years.
Accident, chance, unconsidered gesture and the fleeting moment are the primary sources of his work. We hear a lot about 'the bigger picture' but for Williams, if the devil is in the detail that is where the angels must be too. The grand ideas which we, paradoxically, take for granted and struggle with (place, home or self, for example) are seldom a single unified entity, but are composites of many different but related parts. Observation of, and reflection on, significant elements can help to illuminate the whole.
Williams works at home and prints without a press, using a fingernail to burnish the paper. Printing by hand means there is a direct physical connection between the artist and his materials. Sometimes this will produce an unevenness of tone which adds another dimension to the surface and reflects, in a different way, his involvement with the production of the image. This unforeseen element is also important when cutting blocks; working with and controlling the material that remains once the primary image has been defined.
His work has been described as “speaking to his Welshness”. He wrote "My cultural heritage, family and personal links with Wales are important to me, and some of the images in this exhibition were inspired by the work of Welsh writers, particularly Rhys Davies and Caradoc Evans."
Thomas Williams was born in Nigeria in 1960, his family returned to Aberystwyth when I was 3 and then moved to York 3 years later. He has lived in London since moving there to study music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His work has been included in many exhibitions in the past 3 years including the Society of Woodengravers, Royal West of England Academy, Originals 05 (Society of British Artists) and the British International Miniature Print Exhibition.