I intend to present something that has layers of meaning, and I do this by making relatively photorealistic paintings.  For the viewer there is an initial engagement – one of recognition of something familiar, nothing too unusual, although the colouring is more vivid than expected.  My task is to persuade the viewer to contemplate the presented image at length, and it have resonance for them.  Perhaps photography is as capable of ‘drawing attention to’, but painting is indexical of an investment of an extended period of making. My work is primarily concerned with aspects of painting, but that is not to deny the emergence of a number of other issues as the painting progresses. They could be seen in the grand tradition of landscape painting – modest places made picturesque by the light of a summer’s evening – and operating in relation to that specific genre.  Yet there is a suggestion of the unusual and unsettling, not the spectacular, in order to encourage both a slight shift from a traditional reading and a personal inquiry on the part of the spectator into possible meaning.


I was born in North Wales in 1966 and am based at Bloc Studios in Sheffield.  Recent group exhibitions include ‘Contemporary Masters from Britain’ British Painting’ at Tianjin Academy of Fine Art in China, and ‘Testcard P’ at The Crypt, St Marylebone Parish Church in London. I have also participated in ‘@PaintBritain’ at Ipswich Art School, and ‘Picturing Sheffield’ at the Millennium Galleries. My most recent solo exhibition was ‘This Could Be The Right Place’ at Watford Museum.  I have also been shortlisted for the 2014 John Ruskin Prize, the 2013 Neo:Art Prize and the 2010 Marmite Prize for Painting. 

Sean Williams

'Our Bloody Hell'. 2017. Acrylic on board. 86 x 60cm.

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