Emrys Williams is a painter based in Llandudno, Wales. Like me, he has also taught all his life.
Of course, Benjamin is our link. Benjamin believed in us both as young artists in our twenties. As students at the Slade, we shared respect for artist and writer Sir Lawrence Gowing, Principle of the Slade School of Fine Art, 1975-1985. At the time, I was thrilled when Gowing wrote a piece for my very first exhibition.
My Manifesto of Painting
Most importantly, the paintings that Benjamin will be showing form part of a larger philosophical investigation of The Practice of Colour. I began this quest in 1998 whilst teaching at the Slade School of Fine Art. I proposed the question ‘Is colour a language?’ If ‘yes’, then can it be taught and expressed in a practical way?
I’m still considering the same question with this ‘Manifesto of Painting’, responding to green. Another key point: this needed to be without words and the first part was shown at Benjamin Rhodes Arts early in 2023.
What does each colour mean to me?
Yellow was about thought. Orange was for listening, and Red was concerned with creativity. Then, there were the three contrasts: A Warm / Cold Contrast for touch; a Light / Dark Contrast (Paradise Lost) for hope; and finally, An Equal Saturation was about Harmony. Green is about the idea of language. I’m pushing into green as far as I can possibly take it.
There’s a favourable review on ORGAN zine here. It means a lot when reviewers say:
This is just a really really (really) good exhibition of new work by two very rewarding artists, two very proper painters and I for one highly recommend it.Sean Worrall
The Artlyst review by Jonathan Evans is positive and makes a timely link with the current William Blake exhibition at the The J. Paul Getty Museum, ‘William Blake: Visionary’. I feel so much a part of this English tradition amidst artists like Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, Samuel Palmer, and William Blake. There is this extraordinary English visionary understanding of the landscape as metaphor (as ‘other’) where the creative imagination has literary links with visionaries like Dante, Milton, Blake, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis, along with composers like Bryd, Elgar, Britten and Purcell.
I’ve written more about all this in the exhibition catalogue which you can download here:
Three of the works in this show are linked to Paradise Lost and herald the publication of my chapter in Milton Across Borders and Media, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978019284474 entitled The Synergies of Drawing and Painting Paradise Lost.
Please join us for our artist talk at the gallery on Friday 26th January, 6.30-8.30pm.
Luminous: Light . Colour . Imagination . continues until 17th February at Benjamin Rhodes Arts, Shoreditch, London, E2 7HP