Professor Sue Williams

Professor Sue Williams B.A, M.A

Senior Lecturer

Swansea

Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481000
E-mail: sue.williams@uwtsd.ac.uk

sue williams

First year tutor and Head of Painting & Drawing

In 2006 I was the only artist in the UK to be selected for the Artes Mundi Art Prize and it is through this great accolade that I have had many opportunities to lecture on my work, including Africa, China, New York and Amsterdam. In Amsterdam I was a visiting Advisor for the Rijk Akademie, the Royal Academy of Arts in Amsterdam. The Artes Mundi gave me an international platform from which I have both exhibited and received invitations from educational establishments. Two African curators invited me to exhibit in Africa, also to present a drawing program and a lecture on my work.

I have a number of works in public collections, including the Wales Assembly Government; National Museum & Galleries of Wales; Contemporary Arts Society including a number of municipal galleries. The Welsh Assembly Government have endorsed my work in education DVD programs for schools and universities.

My website www.nomorepink.com is used in educational establishments, from GCSE to Higher Education throughout the UK and beyond. I receive emails from A level students, BA and MA students throughout the United Kingdom and beyond, requesting information on my work, either in statement or questionnaire format.

I had been selected for a travel bursary by the Arts Council of Wales to attend the very first Wales Pavilion in the Venice Biennale, and to review and evaluate the position of Wales and the value the Biennale may have to the Welsh Arts and Education communities.

I accepted the position of Project Co-ordinator for ‘Seeing Drawing’ DVD by the London Institute and University of Plymouth. I systematically analysed and responded to the named DVD. This was to be published as an interactive DVD based on drawing skills.

As an artist and as a lecturer I continue to benefit from staff development and training fund.

With staff development funding I have received in the last few years the experience of training at The Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford where I had one to one training in moulding and developed a number of new skills and explorations that I personally can benefit from but also can be developed within the college environment.

Most recently I have been selected as a member of the Artists Pension Trust. I am resident artist in the National Dance Company Wales and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have most recently been invited to sit on the AXIS board of Trustees.

  • Higher Education Academy  - Fellow
  • Artist Pension Trust – Member – provide regular work for exhibition and for the Trust Fund itself.
  • Resident Artist with National Dance Company Wales – regular working with choreographers as artistic director for costume, stage design and artistic concept.
  • AXISWEB – Board of Trustees. Regular monthly board meetings and an involvement with the organization and its digital presentation of contemporary art practice in the UK, creating opportunities for exchange and interaction that benefit a wide constituency of artists and art professionals and strengthen the contribution of the visual arts to society.

Throughout my teaching career I have successfully developed a number of drawing programs. Each program has been developed to work with illustrators within industry; MA and BA illustration courses; MA and BA Fine Art courses and within public galleries. I have devised a time-based/process-based drawing experience that I refer to as ‘WIDE OPEN’. The title is suggestive of my desire to teach the diversity of drawing, to acknowledge how drawing has integrity and stands within its own right in contemporary art practice.

WIDE OPEN creates an environment where new interventions are created to enable the student to become aware of the complexities of drawing and their pre-conceptions of drawing are challenged. Drawing is about ‘seeing’ ‘observing’ and ‘listening’.

Throughout this program I encourage students to discuss and interpret their most recent reading book; discuss newspaper articles with global issues/news. This broader outlook helps the student to recognize that all facets of life permeates into the visual arts, feeding the imagination and thus in time enabling the student to develop a broader ‘mindset’ – a philosophy of life. The process initially starts as individual drawing resulting in the final piece being a collaboration taking over all 4 walls of the studio room, determining their ability in communicating, cross-referencing and liaising.

Drawing is often stereo-typically been taught as a ‘sketch’ for something bigger and this intense 2 weeks shows clearly the dynamics of drawing as an important visual language in its own right. The outcome of this drawing program is to enable the students the opportunity to re-assess the integrity of the drawn line; push boundaries and to expand the presupposed limits of drawing; to work with issues of scale and to understand ‘process’, the fluidity and transformation of ideas.

Within my teaching I have re-modelled the major module for year one undergraduates in fine art specifically to offer all students an avenue of learning which suits their individual needs. In turn this fosters and encourages best practice and a challenging visual dialogue within their own practice and a profoundly important discourse amongst their peer group, as well as with members of staff. The module is titled Body & Environment and Visual Studies. I designed this as 2 avenues of process - the Visual Studies, the interpretation of THE BOOK and the Body & Environment.

A multi-disciplinary course of study, connecting theory, practice and culture of seeing. The major module brief is devised as a starting point, encouraging a consideration of the relevance of a place or locality in making art’. It is to enable the students to develop their own visual language, understand the complexities and significance of questioning and exchange and to work towards practical solutions in their individually chosen, appropriate media. The students are encouraged to initiate self-motivated bodies of work and in many cases this body of work will often continue throughout the 3 years.

The language of drawing occupies a major place within my own practice as I believe that drawing is essential to the development of looking and seeing. In establishing my drawing company BODYWORKS I taught drawing within choreography, dealing with the dynamics and importance of space and special awareness. This was well received by both film animation companies and on animation degree courses.

I developed a drawing installation project which had been successfully flag shipped in University of Wales Institute Cardiff for a number of years and in the last 6 years has been established as a major part of the Fine Art course in Swansea Metropolitan University. It is a vigorous experience where all students are given the opportunity to re-assess their knowledge and understanding of the meaning of drawing, its complexities and most importantly, its integrity.

The time-based/process-based experimentation offers a greater understanding of the depth and broadness of drawing, its fluidity and qualities of mark making. The use of metaphor and ephemeral acts of mark making are equally relevant to the more conventional medium of pencil, pen and paper. Alongside the various drawing processes the students are asked to develop an awareness of their interest in books and music, encouraging cross-referencing, the fertilization of ideas and collaboration work.

The final stage of the drawing program enables and encourages collaboration. A room covered in paper from floor to ceiling, the recording of a tool moving across the surface and travelling from one space to another, a directness of movement challenging the students ability to develop subtle gestures, an analytical viewpoint and the ability to develop narrative. This form of drawing is a recording of the moment, a recording of our culture and is on a par with other forms of recording such as writing and verbal. This very time-based experience tends to highlight the student’s strength and weaknesses when it comes to negotiating and compromising.  

As the Painting & Drawing tutor I have developed regular meetings for those students in the 2nd and 3rd years who wish to deal with paint. This offers an open forum regarding painting and gives the students an opportunity to discuss their work together. I also give tutorials to painters and am always at hand for tutorials.

A developing multi-disciplinary ‘portfolio’ of work is fully endorsed by the continued support of the Arts Council of Wales; Wales Arts International and Faculty of Art & Design UWTSD, Swansea.

In my psychologically charged and pathologically honest works I seek to raise important questions about the construction of identity in contemporary culture and its psychological and emotional effects on our bodies and our minds.

I research into the complex nature of communication and the slippage between what is said, what is meant and what is understood. It is my intention to reveal the ambiguous spaces in-between a secure place and an insecure place, the real and the imagined. My research takes me into both the virtual cyber world (fantasy) and the physical world we live in (reality), it is in the transition between both worlds I name as the ‘spaces in- between’. Here I find the opportunity to deconstruct communication and interpersonal relationships both being integral to notions of gender and culture.

Within both the real and the unreal worlds there is a significant blur between the boundaries of private and public, thus embracing a psychologically charged world within the context of socio- culture and so questioning the concept of identity, both sexually and cerebrally. Throughout my work I offer a direct response to the complex world of human frailty, ‘the stuff of life’, drawing the viewer into a world of provocative sexual politics.

In 2006 I was the only British artist to be selected for the prestigious Artes Mundi Art Prize. Deepak Ananth, art historian, critic and independent curator based in Paris and Ivo Mesquita, curator, critic and art writer living in São Paulo, Brazil, selected me. To be the only artist in the United Kingdom to be selected was a significant personal achievement and it helped to give Wales a place on the global art map. To date I have been one of only two artists working in Wales to be selected for this prize (the other being Tim Davies with whom I work in the Fine Art department in UWTSD Swansea). Every exhibition I have undertaken since I consider to have an ambassadorial role for Wales and acknowledge both the support I receive from UWTSD and the art establishment in Wales. Having international recognition and reputation I continue to exhibit new bodies of work, both in solo and group exhibitions, around the world.

My recent theatre installation work ‘SHH!’ has been funded by the Arts Council of Wales to tour Wales during October 2013. Other works will be touring China, Australia and India from October 2013 and throughout 2014 (funded by the Wales Arts International). Whilst on tour in China I am going to be presenting my work to The China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou and at the University of Hong Kong. In reaching such a wide audience, my reputation as an international artist is further enhanced and my position as an artistic ambassador for UWTSD and Wales ratified.

My interest lies primarily with drawing and painting though I am successful in collaborating with other creative disciplines. I continuously stretch and challenge my own work. By being involved with other art forms I am developing and increasing the boundaries of my work. Engaging with choreographers has led to a challenging interest in the theatrical and this has taken my ideas and imagery beyond the canvas.

In 2009 I trademarked and registered the name ‘nomorepink’ in order to extend my work into design concepts. In 2012 I worked with FreshWest Design:

“Touch Me Cupboard, a collaboration with celebrated artist Sue Williams, goes beyond surface pattern creating a piece of furniture that has the presence and depth of a canvas on a gallery wall. The form of the cupboard is designed to heighten the impact of the artist’s imagery, which beckons you to open the doors. Inside, Freshwest have added to the intrigue with a built in second, small, locked cupboard that only the owner can open. “We wanted to create a private secret place for someone to keep their treasured possessions. We like the idea that we are not only the designers and makers but the curators of a piece of furniture, with us, Sue and the owner all contributing to its story”.

Marcus Beck & Simon Macro (Directors of FreshWest)

Through exhibiting worldwide I have been visiting lecturer on a number of Fine Art courses and in 2011 was invited to the Rijk Akademie Amsterdam Holland as a visiting Advisor to their international artists.

I have recently had work selected for the Artist Pension Trust a highly sought after global arts organisation that chooses only a limited number of artists worldwide, offering an international platform to be seen by curators and galleries. It is also the first organisation of its kind to act as an international trust that supports artists. APT will provide me with further international exposure through the APT Global website, art fairs and exhibitions worldwide.

www.aptglobal.org

In 2012 I was invited to be Resident Artist with the National Dance Company Wales. Supported by Wales Arts International, I made a research visit with the Director of the National Dance Company Wales to New York. It was confirmed that the International Studio Curatorial Program in Brooklyn wish to offer me a studio to work in NYC. (The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) is a leading nonprofit, residency-based contemporary art institution for professional artists and curators from around the world). During my visits I established a number of contacts within the visual arts and dance and I realised the potential for future collaborations between Wales and New York.

During the summer 2013 I successfully collaborated on a commission of limited edition Lithography prints with Hole Editions Print Workshop, Newcastle. This was an invitation through Tamarind Master Printer Lee Turner.

I am at present collaborating with a prominent heart surgeon and this work has the full support of the NHS Cardiff and Vale Board and the Department of Cardiology. It is at the early stages of development and fund raising stage. This collaboration has brought about an interesting dialogue where science and art seem to organically support each other.

I have taken part in many exhibitions and residencies and have won many prestigious and important awards including:

  • Artes Mundi International Art Prize
  • The National Eisteddfod Wales (Gold Medal winner)
  • The Rootstein Hopkins Award
  • Selected for the Avesta Biennial, Sweden
  • Site-ations Project in New York
  • The Creative Wales Award, Arts Council of Wales 2009

Works in collections include:

The Welsh Assembly Government
National Museum & Galleries of Wales
Contemporary Arts Society
A number of municipal galleries.
Several leading private and public collections throughout USA, Africa and Europe.

The Welsh Assembly Government has endorsed my work in the education DVD programs for schools and universities. My website www.nomorepink.com is used in educational establishments, from GCSE to Higher Education throughout the UK and beyond. This results in A level students, BA and MA students and international students using my imagery in their studies and research documentation.

As one of the only female artist in Wales who deliberately challenges and deals with issues of femininity, gender, culture and sexuality and for this very reason I support a great number of students of both gender, throughout the UK and beyond, who are endeavouring to find a personal visual language to deal with such important issues related to sexuality and gender.

My research into contemporary issues relating to sexuality and human communication in the real world as well as the cyber world, I am aware that my integrity as a lecturer is to support the individual student and to assist them in developing as not only a potential creative person but help to develop their awareness to the human condition through their work. Given the issues of sexualisation of the young and the new feminist debates, there is potentially a broader constituency beyond my art practice. My website offers an updated reference point for all students and the public. My website stats are indicating a high number of hits on a daily basis, with over 40,000 hits in some months.

With every exhibition I present a talk to the public, followed by a question and answer period. This has proved successful throughout my practise as it offers the audience further insight into the way I work. With most exhibitions there is an accompanying film interviewing me in my studio and these are screened throughout the exhibition.

My most recent exhibition in China October 2013 offered me an opportunity to present talks on my work in the Sangshang Museum and Gallery of Contemporary Art, Hangzhou and to present my work through a series of lectures to the students of the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou and the University of China, Hong Kong.

In 2009 I trademarked and registered the name ‘nomorepink’ in order to extend my work into design concepts. In 2012 I worked with FreshWest Design “Touch Me” Cupboard. It is my intention to develop a brand concept and apply my work to these designs.

As mentioned previously I am at present collaborating with a prominent heart surgeon and this work has the full support of the NHS Cardiff and Vale Board and the Department of Cardiology. It is at the early stages of development and fund raising stage.

As we are living in a digital age it is important to be visible and in a prominent position within a digital platform. I have been invited to sit on a number of art based boards and committees, most recently been invited to sit on the Board of Trustees for Axisweb, who lead the digital presentation of contemporary art practice in the UK, creating opportunities for exchange and interaction that benefit a wide constituency of artists and art professionals and strengthen the contribution of the visual arts to society. I am represented by Artist Pension Trust; further profile on networking, associations and groups: Axisweb; Open Art Collection; Black Art in America; Creative Africa Network; APT Global; Facebook; Linkedin; Vimeo; Drawing Research Network and Twitter.

I have taught at Higher Education level at Plymouth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and I now hold the post of senior lecturer in Fine Art in Dynevor and have done so since 2003. My commitment to teaching as a support to the arts in Wales has been significant and my work is used as part of the education curriculum in both Wales and England. I consider all my areas of development, in both professional practise and lecturing, as relevant to both my practice and learning and teaching.

Drawing plays a major role in both my practice and my teaching and therefore I have developed a program that pushes the boundaries of drawing within visual art practice. The University of Wales Institute Cardiff invited me on a regular basis to work on the PGCE course as well as the Teacher Training Course.

This led to me holding a number of different positions within Higher Education. UWIC then invited me to present a drawing program for the 1styear Fine Art undergraduates. This was the beginning of what I am now demonstrating as WIDE OPEN within UWTSD Swansea. The Institute of London and the University of Plymouth invited me to validate the DVD ‘Seeing, Drawing’. This was a new interactive tool for students as a way of interpreting the drawing processes. I wrote and designed a drawing programme in collaboration with a dance choreographer, titled BODYWORKS.

This was specifically designed for animation students and professionals offering them a more theatrical, 3 dimensional perspectives in drawing and the choreographic angle enabled the students to physically move and relate to the space they were drawing. The European Funding Body CARTOON funded BODYWORKS. I have successfully developed a number of drawing programmes, successfully developed to work with illustrators within industry; MA and BA illustration courses; MA and BA Fine Art courses and within public galleries. The spectrum of ability ranges from those students who are high achievers, self-motivated and willing to explore new territory and are self-confident, to the students who are less confident and are unable to grasp self analysis and progress so thoroughly.

In 2009 I trademarked and registered the name ‘nomorepink’ in order to extend my work into design concepts. In 2012 I worked with FreshWest Design:

“Touch Me Cupboard, a collaboration with celebrated artist Sue Williams, goes beyond surface pattern creating a piece of furniture that has the presence and depth of a canvas on a gallery wall. The form of the cupboard is designed to heighten the impact of the artist’s imagery, which beckons you to open the doors. Inside, Freshwest have added to the intrigue with a built in second, small, locked cupboard that only the owner can open. “We wanted to create a private secret place for someone to keep their treasured possessions. We like the idea that we are not only the designers and makers but the curators of a piece of furniture, with us, Sue and the owner all contributing to its story”.

Marcus Beck & Simon Macro (Directors of FreshWest)

2008 Funding for Business Planning and Marketing

2013 – OPEN BOOKS - This exhibition was first seen at the National Library of Wales 2012. In China it is contributing to a festival celebrating the history and culture of the folding book at The Sanshang Museum of Art in Hangzhou (September- December 2013). Open Books will tour to the HUI Gallery, Hong Kong (December 2013-January 2014). Tours to India, the USA and Australia are also planned.

Open Books will be supported by an ISBN catalogue.

2012 POKE ME Ffin y Parc Gallery, Conwy, North Wales and SL Gallery, Kensington, London catalogue

2011 Group Show: ‘We Have the Mirrors, We Have The Plans’ Oriel Mostyn Llandudno Wales.

Catalogue: ‘We Have The Mirrors, We Have The Plans’ catalogue ISBN 97809068606032

For Mostyn Gallery Llandudno, Wales

http://www.mostyn.org/shop/publications/

2011 DARE U PLAY Sue Williams at Gallery Genesis, Athens (with artist Robert Slingsby) catalogue

For Gallery Genesis catalogue/information:

http://www.gallerygenesisathens.com/artists/394

Performances include:

Dance House, Wales Millenium Centre Cardiff September 22-23, 2011and touring.

http://www.ndcwales.co.uk/en/what-s-on/current-repertoire/phantoms-of-us/

2009    • NY Arts Magazine  April 2009 edition

2007    • GOOD FOUNDATIONS by Paul Glinkowski  Funded and  produced by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation

‘Small Talk, High Heels’ (2006- 2008) commissioned by the Glyn Vivian Gallery Swansea

Funded by the Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council

This work resulted in a solo exhibition touring 2008 at the Artes Mundi, National Museum & Galleries of Wales; Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea; Mostyn, Llandudno, Wales; National Galleries in both Bulawayo and Harare, Zimbabwe and finally in 2008 the Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast, Ireland.

A catalogue ‘Small Talk, High Heels’ is available ISBN: 0903189747

2006  Artes Mundi International Art Prize 2006 catalogue, nominated for Open frequency http://www.axisweb.orgsue williams, NY Arts Magazine  Jan/Feb 2007 edition

Living in a digital age it is important to be visible and in a prominent position within a digital platform. I have been invited to sit on a number of art based boards and committees, most recently been invited to sit on the Board of Trustees for Axisweb, who lead the digital presentation of contemporary art practice in the UK, creating opportunities for exchange and interaction that benefit a wide constituency of artists and art professionals and strengthen the contribution of the visual arts to society. I am represented by Artist Pension Trust; further profile on networking, associations and groups: Axisweb; Open Art Collection; Black Art in America; Creative Africa Network; APT Global; Facebook; Linkedin; Vimeo; Drawing Research Network and Twitter.