“My name is Andrew John Williams, I was born and brought up in Wakefield, west Yorkshire, but now live closer to Huddersfield, also in west Yorkshire. I’m 44 years old. I mainly paint abstract artwork in a loose splatter, daub and drip like fashion. I hardly use brushes and knives any more, maybe the ends of brushes to draw through the liquid paint to make interesting shapes and patterns.
I was involved in Inspire, an arts group at my local psychiatric hospital on a voluntary basis for over five years. Inspire was great because it involved people from the wards along with service users in the community. We had many exhibitions and did some positive work with people there. It is still running but I no longer am involved, but pop in to say hello occasionally to see the members.”
Andrew goes on to describe his mental health difficulties as “long and enduring, and have been isolating, with social misinterpretation problems in the community also. It’s been a long road towards understanding myself and changing, but I feel now that I am slowly getting there after all this time. Art has kept me going through the darkest times and still continues to keep me optimistic about the future. The artworks featured are pieces I did in very depressed states that were expressing my inner feelings at the time, my personal feelings. ‘Paranoia’ (top image) and ‘Sad Clown’ (middle image) were done in the late 1990’s and ‘Adversity’ (bottom image) was done in 2009.”
Andrew finishes his submission by adding “I have a large collection of artwork myself that I’d like to exhibit in the near future that’s more abstract, loose spontaneous artwork. I think it important to not get into being known as an outsider artist, for those that want to go that route and it works for them fine, but it was never what I wanted to be labelled as. I see myself as an individual that painted very personal pieces at difficult times, and am proud of them, and don’t mind sharing them to maybe allow someone else to gain something from my expressions of pain, angst, depression etc. But, not all my work is about that, it’s about my personality and everyday situations, experiences, thoughts, ideas, so I don’t want to be labelled as anything, in fact I like to try new things constantly and don’t stick to one style or formula that works, that way I feel as though I can keep things fresh and contemporary.”