Catherine and Simon McWilliams, mother and son artists, present work together in the Golden Thread Gallery’s Project Space. Taking Betty McCord’s sculpture ‘Rook’ as a starting point, the exhibition is a conversation about the processes of making artwork with familial connections. Both Simon and Catherine are interested in the natural environment, with the rook appearing in both of their works at various points. This connecting motif draws out a combined interest in interpreting the world around them, whether it’s a goddess emerging from within a tree, bursting with life and vibrancy or a quiet view out a beautiful window, revealing a riot of colour.
Simon and Catherine display immense technical skill within their chosen media. In painting or sculpture, they are informed and inspired by the materials with which they work and have both revisited the subject of trees throughout their individual careers. Catherine’s tree pieces are evocative of female figures, gods, terrifying in their ferociousness. Female figures have played a central role in her paintings over a number of decades from the 1960s to the present day. In moments of transition, the figures metamorphose into Celtic goddesses and
rise above with a sense of joyous freedom.
The cherry tree for Simon might be aligned with his attitude towards paint as a medium. It continues to flower even as the world around changes, adapting to its environment much as he has introduced new materials and new techniques into his more recent works.
The McWilliams hail from a family of artists and this history and connection informs and speaks through their work. They engage with the act of creating in a unique and personal way, using paint for its endurance through generations and ultimately its versatility. The interpretative power of paint is core to their work and acts as an additional connector which, as with the images of trees, continues to provide something beautiful, revelatory and enduring.
Venue: Golden Thread Gallery, 84-94 Great Patrick Street, Belfast, BT1 2LU
Dates: 20th August – 15th October 22
More information: www.instagram.com/goldenthread_gallery/