Created for Arcady. Two colour silk screen on 220 gram Fabriano paper Size 483mm x 330 mm format portrait.
Edition of 25. Price £75.00 Unframed. +£5 P&P UK. For international rates please contact us at email@example.com
Arcady: Lois Williams 18/11-16/12/12 Curated by Prof. Mike Tooby
‘Arcady’ is Lois Williams’ first new solo project in the UK for 10 years.
It follows her participation in 2011 in ‘Artisterium’, in Tbilisi, Georgia. In Georgia she showed her first body of new work following an extended period when her practice was dominated by her role as consultant ‘artist in the design team’ for Oriel Mostyn Llandudno’s redevelopment project.
‘Arcady’ speaks of the generalised vision of an ideal place, and of a specific association in the artist’s mind. Lois Williams travelled through eastern Europe in 1994 to visit Brancusi’s Endless Column, Gate of the Kiss and Table of Silence at Tirgu Giu. She now recalls being struck throughout this journey by a place near Odessa bearing the name ‘Arkady’. For two decades she has carried the word with its associations in her mind as a potential title or designation for a group of pieces, being reminded of this as she continues travelling in what was once the Soviet Bloc.
Her work is made in two studios.
One is an old cottage, within a few hundred yards not only of her present home, but the now derelict farm on which she was born, and the farm which her parents worked for much of her life. The other is a purpose built new space in an artists’ studio block in Sheffield, where her teaching career was based. She is about to vacate this studio.
The idea of duality in her work has been explored in past projects and in critical discussion. A renewed concern with memory, personal history, the claims of particular places and the potential of new contexts has played an important part in her recent work.
The title may suggest a pursuit of a golden age, but it is difficult to say whether this lies in the past or may come to be in the future, whether it is close at hand or lying at a distance.
Text: Mike Tooby
Lois Williams’ Website
Lois was born in 1953 in Denbigh, North Wales. In 1971/72 she did a Foundation Course in Art and Design at Wrexham Technical College, then studied Fine Art from 1972 to 1975 at Manchester Polytechnic (BA.hons). In 1975/76 did postgraduate work at Goldsmiths’ College in London. She now has her studio at Cefn, St Asaph in North Wales – where she occupies a traditional Welsh longhouse near her parents’ farm. She also uses a disused factory space in Sheffield, her adopted domicile.
Artist’s Statements (quoted from Certain Welsh Artists by Iwan Bala): “The appropriateness of materials is always an issue. In my studio, I work surrounded by things: wire which reminds me of hair, real hair and synthetic; horse hair, sheep’s wool, muslin, felt, rope, paper; all sorts really. There are works in their early stages, works halfway made, works abandoned and left for a while. Very occasionally, in a cleaned-up space, there is a final, finished work attached to the wall, or attached to the floor or attached to the ceiling.
The studio is full: paper against wood, rope against linen, felt againsty cotton. On a table, materials have been abandoned midstream: linseed oil, stain, sisal, candle wax and books. An amalgam of colour, smell and touch”……”Gathering is a major preoccupation; accumulating, retrieving, discovering, sifting, bringing together and evolving the whole.
The items are an eclectic mix, sometimes found, sometimes made, sometimes used, sometimes constructed. They can be of the present or the past, there are no borders. Frequently they challenge notions of authenticity; one is never absolutely sure of what one is looking at…..”
Lois Williams’ work is born of a creative fusion of rural & urban experience, between that of the farming community & familial surroundings of Cefn, St.Asaph/North Wales, where her studio occupies a traditional Welsh Longhouse near her parents’ farm – and a disused factory space in Sheffield, her adopted domocile. Although rooted in her knowledge and experience of a particular place and culture, Williams insists on the universal nature of the themes she wishes to address: the passage of time, human vulnerability and mortality. The very materials she uses imbue the works with feeling of fragility and transient life.
Teaching Experiences: After 1976 she taught for many years in a secondary school in Sheffield while practising as an artist; 1985-96 visiting lecturer in Fine Art at various colleges.
Awards: Winner of the Gold Medal for Fine Art at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1999
Public Collections: Arts Council Collection; Contemporary Art Society of Wales.