Although finished now, Nicola Williams had a great show of new paintings over at Grays School of Art which provided a nice survey of her work from the last 2 years from her studio located in the Anatomy Rooms studios at Marischal College.
I'd started to see Nicolas work popping up on instagram and it stood out amongst the usual visual barrage. I've actually spent the last while cutting down my digital intake as its detracted a little from my enjoyment of seeing artists work as things which once wowed and stimulated become normal and common. But Nicolas work flips that and instead depicts scenes of the everyday and mundane but her use of shape and colour give them a heightened sense which feels almost psychedelic in some paintings.
Her preferred medium of household gloss paint and enamel paint add a distinctive sheen to the works which can be traced from one of her degree show pieces titled 'Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits' painted in 2003 with its high contrast pink and yellow lines and paint drips bridging the artists journey from then into the newer works of now. Nicolas bio really added some context to the works which reveals a fun mix of Enid Blyton pastoral scenes overshadowed by an Animal Farm eeriness. It makes for a great mix and a great selection of paintings!
"I grew up on a farm in the North East of Scotland, and the inherent cruel hierarchies of the environment around me, provide me with a rich source of imagery. It is an arena ripe for metaphors and Orwellian allegory, a time and place from whose harsh realities conjure up a hallucinatory painted world populated by birds, beasts, children and people. Buildings have a sense of foreboding, or of a dangerous past, one which was out of bounds to me as a child. I source imagery from storybooks and tabloid newspapers and in this way innocence drifts into shock and cheap fear in the weightless and liquid pictorial space. The shining, bright and seductive aesthetic, made from household gloss paint and enamels belies the darker tone of the work, just as my enthusiastic swathes and layers wrinkle and drip from the canvas. A troubled mood looms over this saccharine cosmetic like the distant buildings likened to stories heard when I was young of playing children drowning in slurry pits."
Although the show is finished you can keep up with Nicola and her work via instagram here.