Exhibition of new paintings by Beatrice Williams1. Oct - 28. Oct 13 / ended Art Matters
10am to 5pm daily, closed on Wednesdays
Beatrice Williams – Of love and laughter
(Press release for her October 2013 exhibition)
When Beatrice Williams had neurosurgery in 1978 it seemed unlikely that her life could possibly be resumed as in previous years. Instead of a weakening of will however she had an excited enthusiasm for life and art, made obvious in her recent paintings. A solo exhibition of her new work will be shown in Tenby during October.
Beatrice says she had “the happiest of childhoods, in a family of musicians, surrounded by love and laughter.” It was her art teacher Richard Broad, at Maesydderwen Comprehensive School in Ystradgynlais, who introduced her to the world of art and “the art library, the huge books with colour plates by great artists” that she never knew existed, not having books at home.
Frank Hamer (member of the Welsh Potters) was the next main influence: he tutored her in pottery at Caerleon College of Education before she herself became a teacher of art and pottery in local schools. “Making a living doing what you love most” she describes as being the perfect position, one she occupied for several years before leaving school teaching to raise her own two children.
After recovery from brain surgery, Beatrice decided to partner her husband Huw in the family business, The Mimosa Restaurant, Ystradgynlais – for a period of 18 years. Here they home cooked food daily, including making their own ice cream, for their customers. “This was an environment where meeting with real people, salt of the earth characters, in the true sense of the word, is a real art. Here I learned lessons of life – truth, tolerance and compassion – however art was missing.”
To remedy the lack, Beatrice attended ‘life long learning’ classes to re-learn techniques, master new mediums, and recover her confidence and enthusiasm. No one has been able to stop her since then. Her subject matter is everything! She can turn any corner and see a painting in it. “Each time I paint I am excited and wonder which way my brush will take me...” She loves contrasting a dark building against a pale sky, or a white cottage against a stand of dark trees. She tries to capture the elusive beauties of nature and man’s structures within it – Welsh cottages sitting comfortably in their natural surroundings. Daisies, simple and sturdy, recur in her work like an addiction. “I feel part of them, blowing in the wind,” she says.
Beatrice accepts the ideas and teaching of other Clwb Celf members and visiting tutors, is drawn to strong Welsh artists like Josef Herman, Gwilym Prichard and Kyffin Williams, “who all have a sculptural quality that appeals to the potter in me.”
Josef Herman said “Every artists knows when he experiences something he has never experienced before. What he may not know is the effect the experience may have on his whole life, or how it may shape the course of his destiny.” Beatrice recognises and seeks out new experiences, adapts to life’s challenges, and feel she is “changing, growing, evolving – it’s a pleasurable struggle – I don’t want to stay the same.”
Her work has an immediate appeal, that of the familiar, with the surprise of her freshness and clarity. She paints her native country with a tenderness for old ways, a truthful and skilful expression of love.
Her exhibition will show at The White Lion Street Gallery in Tenby from 1st to 28th October. Everyone is invited to meet her in the gallery from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday 5th October. The work may be viewed on the website: www.artmatters.org.uk and further information obtained by telephone: 01834-843375.
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