Alexandra Williams is a Dubai-based contemporary artist, capturing the unique energy and emotions of experiences from the past, present and perceived future, through pattern and colour. Alexandra’s paintings aim to transport the viewer, giving them a distinct sense of the emotional experience depicted in the artwork through the eyes of the artist. The title of each painting is an invitation to discover the hidden story within, allowing the viewer to create their own, uniquely personal response. Her intuitive and energetic painting approach brings fluidity and life to the canvas.
Alexandra acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Arts in the U. K, specializing in the fields of Ceramics, Jewelry and Architectural Glass design. The influence of her love for these mediums reveal themselves in various combinations within her mixed-media work. She later went on to attain a Post-Graduate Teaching Degree in Visual Arts & Design, teaching for several years in the U.K before pursuing a teaching career in the Middle East. Alexandra enjoys creating her own artwork and loves helping others to fulfill their own artistic potential through teaching self expression through visual arts mediums.
“My artwork is a visual daydream, a sort of diary of a series of memories and experiences on this journey through life, capturing emotional experiences through pattern and colour,” she says.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Integral to the work of all artists is the ability to identify an issue or theme of popular interest and isolate the essential message or concept needing to be communicated. The job of the artist is then to have a clear vision and solid understanding of the chosen medium which will be used to create the artwork in order to accurately produce the work in accordance to the intentions.
What role does the artist have in society?
The role of the artist in society is to raise awareness of issues and themes which are either of deep value to the artist or specific groups of people. The purpose of the artwork is to evoke emotion within the audience, to inspire change or action on an individual, local or global level. It is the artists job to skilfully find a way to leave the viewer more comfortable or uncomfortable through making the emotional energy of the issue tangible and in the case of visual artists, make the invisible visible, essentially allowing the audience to view the world from a different perspective.
What art do you most identify with?
I identify with a wide range of artworks and art styles, each for different reasons. However, I do believe that for most people, like myself the artwork which we identify with, has the ability to touch our soul, to appeal to our adult intellect and our childlike innocence both at the same time. For me, the use of colour and it’s balance within an artwork is a key defining factor as to whether or not I connect with an artwork, regardless of style or subject matter.
What themes do you pursue?
I pursue the creation of works which are highly personal yet perhaps universal in theme, invariably the events and emotions which are encountered by all at various stages on life. I am motivated by my observations of life, routine, habit and all the ebb and flow of my emotional state as I glide, trudge or stumble through the extraordinary and mundane events in my life. It is the need to capture, those feelings, good or bad and be reminded of those high energy emotions at times of need or to make peace with the theme of the artwork by facing it head on, creating personal understanding through the creative process.
What’s your favourite art work?
‘Coming Up For Air’ was inspired by the breakdown of a key relationship. The piece is not directly related to the breakdown of the relationship, nor does it harbour any negativity within the inspiration for this. Rather, it was born out of the feeling of calmness felt when a challenge has been overcome and the internal fight is resolved.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
The timing of the 2020 lock down due to the World-Wide Covid-19 pandemic was the foundational inspiration for the work ‘Birthday Cake’. The crisis situation across the globe ran parallel to my own private crisis. ‘Birthday Cake’ talks of how the individual, personal battles were put aside during the pandemic, in order to prioritize and address the safety needs of the world. For me it was the year that my whole world changed as well as it being the year the world changed globally, yet what is really inspiring, the great takeaway is that people, individually and collectively never gave up hope that this catastrophic change could be overcome.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
The majority of my working life has been based around creative pursuits, with my career being centred on the teaching of Visual Arts, Textiles, Glass, Ceramics and Design Technology.
I do not consider art to be a stand-alone entity. I believe visual and performing arts are championed by those who have been lucky enough to have been allowed to cultivate their creativity. However, creativity exists within all people and is the key to achievement, growth and success in any area of human interaction and development. The ability to think creatively is what has enabled mankind to survive and thrive. This is why the cultivation of creativity and art is needed.
What is an artistic outlook on life?
Understanding the impact that the formal elements have on our lives through our surroundings can help individuals to identify ways to improve their quality of life. Looking through the eyes of an artist, would be to notice how colour, line, shape, space, value, form and texture affect you. People most notably use this method (usually unknowingly) when they come to think about fashion, interiors, food, or their next car purchase or hotel stay. If we apply the same scrutiny to our daily surroundings, be that indoors or outdoors, we can begin to understand the elements of art which create positive or negative emotional responses in us and we can utilize those positive elements to serve us in our lives in a positive way.
What food, drink, song inspires you?
I am inspired by positive energy. If the food, drink, song feels positive I will always be inspired.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
The artistic life is dual. The vast majority of time, as a solo artist you will be working alone, focused on creating the space, time and optimal conditions to enable the creation of your best work. The work itself is not only created in the time that the physical artwork is produced, however. It is in the moments when we drift off in a crowded room because a casual conversation has inspired an idea or evoked an emotion which needs to be captured that the majority of the conceptual or design work is done. Visual artists are flooded with visual stimuli each and every day, which can become a source of exhaustion, leading to the need to isolate and internalize thoughts in order to avoid becoming drained. There are many times also when the artistic life is very sociable and artists enjoy interacting, exhibiting their work and in turn, being inspired by the work of others. Balance is always needed.
What do you dislike about the art world?
The art world is ever-changing and varies depending on the location, media representation and audience. What I would like to see is the knowledge of art improve within all school-leavers. I wish for all to be educated in the formal qualities of art and design to the degree in which they can confidently select artworks for their own home based upon authentic taste and judgement.
What do you dislike about your work?
For my own work I dislike the time limitations I have which prevent me from creating more work.
What do you like about your work?
I like when my work truly connects with somebody and I know it has found the correct owner, who understands the work fully.
Should art be funded?
Without question. Much of human civilization has been cataloged by artists. It is through the skillfully created trinkets, sculptures, architectural relics and paintings now in private or museum collections that historians are able to piece together important information relating to our history. Without art, we would know little of our past and have no inspiration to innovate further from what has already been achieved in art.
What role does art funding have?
Arts funding allows access to view both contemporary and historical artworks, to educate and inspire the viewer as well as creating opportunities for artists to develop their skills and showcase their work.
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to work in the field of service and action in the community.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
It is impossible to be compared to the artist who I have found most inspirational, though I can describe the traits I admire, respect and identify with; Frida Kahlo’s use of her own personal experience in her paintings. The incorporation of her raw grief and physical pain within her work. Georgia O’Keeffe for going against the grain in her work and life as well as her resilience in personal crisis. Van Gogh for staying true to his vision and enabling the world to see the beauty in the way he so heavily saturates the details in his artworks which we often miss in real life.
Favourite or most inspirational place?
Nature. For me there is nothing more inspirational than the changing landscape surrounding me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
If buy an artwork because you love it you will never regret it. If you buy an artwork as an investment, it will always torment you.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
My goal is to continue to grow alongside my artwork, to create series which evolve with the natural passing of time and experience.
My plan is to create, whenever and wherever possible.