b. 1997, UK
George Williams grew up in Hereford in the West Midlands and moved up to Edinburgh, Scotland in 2017 to study BA (Hons) Painting at Edinburgh College of Art. Williams explores his interest in angelic figures and how bodies transcend their corporeal forms to spirits or weightless beings in his work.
George Williams moved from Hereford to Edinburgh as he was drawn to a bigger city where he could be in a diverse environment to exchange ideas and knowledge. Williams paints to escape from the overwhelming reality.
Williams enjoys the challenge of figurative painting, as it can represent human figures and objects with otherworldly characteristics. He tackles a subject depending on the media he uses, allowing the material qualities of the paint to transform his subject. His works often explore Androgynous and human figures with a wide range of media, such as graphite pencils, alcohol markers, and oil paint.
What is your choice of medium in your creative practice?
I use different types of media when I draw, depending on the result I’m trying to achieve. From simple graphite pencils to chalk pastels and other combinations involving alcohol markers, biros, and correction fluid. I switch between the concise linear approach that pencils offer and the layered textures and colours one can achieve with correction fluid and markers.
My drawings act as source materials for my other paintings and works. I paint almost exclusively in oil paint as I admire its malleability. You can endlessly push it around until an image appears, while its texture and quality can vary so much. Although I also regularly use chalk pastel, I feel like it is merely a speedier method of putting down information as you don’t have to worry about brushes or thinners as you do with oil paint.
Are there any recurring themes in your work?
I find myself depicting a lot of androgynous and angelic figures. I am interested in how bodies transcending their corporeal form to spirits or weightless beings. I think painting offers a kind of escape from a reality that can feel awkward and heavy, so I enjoy creating worlds with an element of fantasy.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
At the moment, I’m drawn to a lot of religious paintings from the Renaissance, mainly work by El Greco, whose long spindly figures clad in gravity-defying draperies I ﬁnd captivating. I like religious paintings as they contain a whole lexicon of narratives and symbols that produce meaning. Their meanings feel relevant to me, as I am beginning to focus on the conceptual root of my work.
I am also affected by the Japanese video games I played during my childhood. The digital reality of role-playing games offers a sense of escapism, which pervades my current work. I find the process of world-building in a video game fascinating. Everything from architecture to fashion can be engineered from the ground up to create a genuinely otherworldly environment to explore.