This week, we catch up with mixed media artist Xenia Williams to discuss art, creative process, and doing what you love:
How have you changed as an artist over the past 2-3 years? What are you making now that you wouldn’t (or couldn’t) have made before?
Painting has always been a huge part of me, and used to always be my hobby. This year I decided to pursue my passion and do more of what I love, paint.
If this artwork could talk, what would it say?
This painting symbolises all of us that keep on giving, keep on putting others first, keep on giving up because someone said no. She was giving so much, that everything around her no longer felt joyful.
In this painting, no one will ever be above or over her. No one will ever try to break her. And most importantly, she is the one everyone will look up to. Not everyone will like this painting, or understand it, but to me, it has more feeling than one painting should.
Bestride 2017 (122 x 183 )
What was the hardest thing to do while making this particular artwork? Is there one section that you struggled to get right?
This painting has a lot of history for me. It has another two paintings underneath it, that just weren’t ‘it’. I started the first with such a clear vision, with the idea that I wanted to get on canvas. I spent days painting it until I looked at it and felt so much hate and dislike for it. It got tucked away in the spare room for a year.
Then one day, I was having one of ‘those’ days, where I just HAD to paint. But I had no canvases left, so I dug this painting out to paint over it. Once again, I spent some time with it, and it had no love, it felt forced. So I again tucked it away.
On one particular depressing day, I didn’t feel like seeing or talking to another human being and locked myself away to paint. At first, I sketched a few ideas and fiddled with colours. Then I saw this canvas. It was just sitting there, and I instantly knew what I wanted to paint on it. And here it is.
Some people say that every artwork you make is in some way a self-portrait, how is this piece a portrait of you?
This painting symbolises a part of me that kept on putting others first and has finally decided to do something for herself.
Tell us about something you had to learn to become the artist you are now. Can we see this in this artwork?
I had to learn to not listen to other people’s opinions and suggestions while making my way as an artist. I had to this on my own, on my terms. To me, this artwork represents that transition to owning my passion and taking my own path.
Also in Xenia’s collection:
Conception 2018, (121x152cm)
Anatomy 2018, (121 x 152)