Vivienne Williams was born in Swansea in 1955. She studied English Literature at Reading University taking a Masters Degree in ‘The Literary Response to the Visual Arts’ in 1978. She spent the next five years abroad, teaching English in Venice and Padua and working in an art gallery in Sydney, where she began selling her work for the first time. Returning to the UK in 1983, she spent the next seven years studying and working in a Buddhist Community, before returning to Wales in 1990 and committing to painting full time.
Vivienne’s early work was expressive and very colourful with her subject matter being mostly flowers. For the last fifteen years she has concentrated more on still life painting with her palette constantly evolving and style becoming ever more distinctive.
Exhibiting with increasing success in Wales and further afield, Vivienne has acquired a large and loyal following. Over the last twenty years she has had regular solo exhibitions in Attic Gallery in Swansea and Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff; exhibiting with the latter at the London Contemporary Art Fair and British Art Fair since the early nineties.
A prize-winner at the National Eisteddfod in 1993, Vivienne also went onto receive a highly commended prize at the inaugural Welsh Artist of the Year Competition in Cardiff in 2000. Furthermore, she was invited onto the panel of Judges in 2008
Her work has been purchased by the Contemporary Art Society of Wales, and can be found in many Public and Private Collections to include: Carmarthen County Hall, Swansea University Library and the World Trade Centre, Cardiff.
She has been described by Artist Sarah Bradford as “a brilliant and contemplative colourist..……there are so many gorgeous things going on compositionally – surfaces, colours, shapes...her work is calm and quiet, giving up its’ secrets gently, rewarding you for a long time”.
As Andrew Green, the former Head of the National Library of Wales writes, the paintings ‘possess a determined search for harmony: not just a visual harmony, but a corresponding human harmony, a learned stillness of mind. Vivienne has long been influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which emphasises the importance of achieving tranquillity through removing mental obstruction. Her paintings are more than self-complete formal compositions. They do hold an intent, for those open to their invitation’.
In her own words:
“I paint pots, jugs and bowls, flowers and fruit. Everything in the picture is re-arranged and repainted many times - deciding what to leave in and what to leave out is a balancing act. The spaces are as significant as the objects themselves. As the layers of paint build, the surface texture is energetically worked, scratched, sanded and stained. At any moment there is an opportunity for a painting to emerge”.