Warren Williams' Family & Other Animals At The Mission Gallery

| 17 June 2003
Shows Living Room Size Painting: Samson & Delilah - group portrait - Oil on canvas.

Left: Living Room Size Painting: Samson & Delilah, 2002. Oil on canvas. Photo: Graham Matthews.

My Family & Other Animals is the first solo exhibition by Welsh artist, Warren Williams and is on at Swansea's Mission Gallery until July 5.

Neath-based Williams graduated from the nearby Swansea Institute in 1999 and has successfully entered a range of group exhibitions. Most recently he was a prizewinner at the 2002 Welsh Artist of the Year show at David's Hall.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Williams' work, rooted in the draughtsmanship of the old masters, is a departure from the current trend towards conceptual art.

Shows With Flesh and Blood and Small Change - a portrait of a male - Oil on linen.

Right: With Flesh and Blood and Small Change, 2003. Oil on linen. Photo: Graham Matthews.

With painting as a preferred choice of media, the work on show at the Mission Gallery is predominantly figurative and by the artist's own admission is influenced by 900 years of European art.

Embracing the sound technical practices of masters such as Rembrandt or Caravaggio, Williams' sets himself rigorous standards of representation, seeking the kind of objective truth that only looking and seeing can bring.

However, his traditional approach is underpinned by a choice of subject, which deals with the more up to date and modern social issues surrounding identity, class and mental illness.

Shows When Samson & Delilah Went To Buy a Bed - two bodies lying on a bed - Oil on canvas.

Left: When Samson & Delilah Went To Buy a Bed, 2002. Oil on canvas. Photo: Graham Matthews.

Produced in eight months, the six paintings that form the centrepiece of the exhibition focus on the domestic situation and include portraits of himself and studies of his friends and family.

Often, words are added to the picture and used as another way of communicating. While at times they can hold the key to a work's meaning, they also offer the extra dimension of text as texture.

The exhibition is set to be complemented by an informal talk and tour with the artist at 11.30 on Saturday June 21. He will be joined by Cardiff-based painter and Eisteddford winner, Sue Williams.

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