Evelyn Williams was born in 1929 and trained at St Martin’s School of Art and The Royal College of Art. Despite failing health she continued painting right up to her death in 2012. Her tender, intimate and emotional paintings are concerned with the subtleties and complexities of relationships and the human predicament. Her very personal paintings have followed her progress through life as child, lover, mother and grandmother.
In 1961 Evelyn Williams won first prize for sculpture in the John Moores competition and over the years had recognition in many public galleries including a retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1972.
Her work is in numerous public and private collections, including the National Museum of Wales; the Contemporary Art Society for Wales; the Victoria and Albert Museum; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; New Hall, Cambridge and the British Arts Council. Evie had four solo exhibitions at the Martin Tinney Gallery, and this exhibition of approximately 25 works features the last paintings she worked on. These are powerful, haunting paintings which, fully aware that her health was declining rapidly, show the artist facing her own mortality with her customary directness and tenderness.
Evelyn Williams had many admirers:
“Evelyn Williams’ work is imbued by an unmistakable mixture of grace and greatness. It is 'awesome' - if we can get back to the true sense of the word. It fills you with awe. In its restraint, its gravity, the sense it imparts of female endurance, female beauty, the power and seriousness of love between woman and child, woman and woman, man and woman, her sheer courage in taking on board the nature of the universe in its most unsmiling mode, it achieves greatness, and will outlast all of us” - Fay Weldon
“I have lived with Evie’s painting for years, and have looked at it every day, and it has filled me with pleasure. It is both clear and mysterious, painted with sensitivity and love.” - Paula Rego
“Her work deserves to be as well-known as those of her fellow 1961 John Moores prize-winners, Blake, Blow, Hockney, Kitaj, Kossoff, McWilliam and Uglow.” Huon Mallalieu
“Evelyn Williams’ haunting work is chosen by our clients all over the world because they provide such arresting and imaginative images for their books.” - Harriet Bridgeman
“A more personal intimate whispered, less institutional art, I have never seen” - David Lee in Art Review, 1997
“All Evelyn’s work has a deep contemplative stillness within it. The dignity of her figures – women above all – is a consequence of their listening hearts. Looking at Evelyn’s paintings I think of Keats “Unheard Melodies” … love is her theme” - Sister Wendy Beckett
“I can't think of any British painter alive today who impresses me more.” - Sir Kyffin Williams