Where the real meets the unreal – a solo show of paintings by Sean Williams.
“Sean Williams makes extraordinary paintings that at first glance look hyper real, but on closer inspection are made up of tiny dots of colour. The images themselves also seem to be of ‘real’ places, but are images of a fictional town created by the artist.
The paintings have a slightly mesmerising quality because neither the subject nor the paint application is quite what it seems. You are drawn to inspect each image and to question your first impressions. Where is this place? Why has the artist chosen this scene, why are there no people despite evidence of activity, be that building works, or a marquee? Light is also wonderfully rendered marking different times of day and seasons. Is there a narrative to the images or a story we need to uncover? The paintings are in themselves rather beautiful and meditative, but leave you with a slight sense of unease or curiosity about something you can’t quite put your finger on. Powerful stuff.
Karen Sherwood, Director, curator, founder. Cupola is delighted to host Sheffield based Sean Williams’ first solo show with the gallery. Sean is both an award winning artist and a curator who regularly organises exhibitions of, specifically, paintings, with a view to highlighting the still relevant and enduring power of paint in the contemporary art world. We are exhibiting around 30 paintings varying in size from 20 x 28 cm up to 60 x 90 cm. Works are for sale. Sean talks about his latest body of work: “Over the last few years I have produced a collection of paintings based on a walk around a fictional English town. The walk takes place on the edges of the town, highlighting the places that, while containing both urban and rural elements, are neither quite one thing nor the other. There are signs of life, of building work and farm animals, but no people. It includes views of parks, those essential oases of relative calm within the bustling conurbation, and farms – buildings which mark where the town ends and the countryside begins. There are also views of the curiously manufactured, artificial terrain of golf courses. The walk occurs across the year, encompassing all weathers. My paintings are views of the fringes of suburbia, places that feel as though they are familiar, but then escape our conditioned response. I aim to place the viewer as ‘still points of a turning world’ - alone, for a while, then possibly watched as they look on. The scene switches between mundane - what is evident and what impacts on our environment, and how we barely see it -and suggesting something may be about to happen. I use a Pointillist-type technique in an attempt to include a wide array of colours in my paintings and to cause them to shimmer slightly.” Sean Williams