4th September - 1st October 2018
Pete Williamson is an artist and award-winning children’s book illustrator. He has illustrated over 65 books for children, most notably the much-loved ’Stitch Head’ series with author Guy Bass, and the acclaimed ‘The Raven Mysteries’ written by Marcus Sedgwick. He has also collaborated with authors such as Francesca Simon, Julia Donaldson, Matt Haig, Steve Cole and Charles Dickens. He has developed a reputation for a unique style that is both “strange and beautiful” and ’”funny and scary at the same time”. This is the first exhibition of his non-children’s book work.
“The pictures showing here are intended to resemble children’s book illustrations that have drifted away from the books themselves and into dark corners and shadows, away from childhood and into the adult psyche. The underlying consoling structure of children’s books have been discarded and replaced with a dream world of anxiety and absurdity. They occupy a ‘half-place’ that is uncanny and eerie, not quite right, in which things are in the wrong place or at the wrong scale.
The sense of displacement that comes from my adoption has become increasingly integral to my personal work. Objects or people tend to drift free of their surroundings, or are just not where they might be expected to be. A sense of children wandering in a world where things aren’t how they should be keeps emerging. When I discovered the circumstances of my adoption, I found that I had roots in pre-war Krakow and that my grandfather had fled from there in 1939 with little more than his name and his violin. Because that area of my life is completely closed off to me, my imagination starts to go a bit odd when it drifts into those mysterious Polish shadows. I begin to wonder what my distant lost relatives went through during those times, and I think of my birth mother suddenly finding herself in a place in life she shouldn’t have been, and a sense of dark, unsettling mystery permeates my work.”
website - petewilliamson.co.uk
Facebook page - Pete Williamson Illustration
Twitter - @PeteCWilliamson