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Claudia Williams (b. 1933)

Claudia Jane Herington Williams was born in Purley, Surrey, the great-grand daughter of a Cardiganshire sheep-farmer. She is the only child of Frank Williams, a London-born civil-servant and Gladys Irene, she began her life of art at Chelsea School of Art.

Throughout her career she has exhibited widely, and her work features in many important public and private collections. She was elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy in 1979 and is an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.

Claudia and Gwilym lived in France for 15 years, where her work was positively received leading to a 1995 award of Silver Medal by the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters in Paris, in recognition of her contribution to the arts in France.

At the beginning of the millennium, a hugely popular retrospective was held at the National Library of Wales and an exhibition of her powerful and moving Tryweryn paintings was shown there in 2010. The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff holds one of her paintings for the National Collection.

Gwilym Prichard and Claudia Williams shared their life together for sixty-two years until Gwilym died in 2015. They shared a life which was immersed in art, travel, Welsh landscape, family, and love. And while Gwilym was inspired by rugged landscapes, it is the theme of family and love that became Claudia’s enduring muse. The artist said that she never gets tired of people watching and that family life is her inspiration.

Her work is a visual diary of her life - it is biographical, and some of her later work was taken from sketches and drawings from many years before, when her children were very young, and when her young family did not give her the time to concentrate on a complete painting.

I think Claudia’s work has a particularly powerful resonance presently. The lockdown has, for most, altered our lives dramatically, even if it is for only a few months. Many people, me included, will have enjoyed an increased time with our immediate family, but will have missed our extended family, missed occasions and gatherings, and missed our good friends.

Claudia’s work captures those fleeting moments which should matter so much but are often dismissed within the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Her work has a timeless quality about it as it embraces moments within relationships that are integral to humans. In her work there are moments which are so familiar to us that sometimes their values can be easily forgotten - the sharing of jokes with friends, sharing smiles with siblings, the breastfeeding bond of mother and child, bathing our children, kicking the leaves, and smelling the roses.

Perhaps the lockdown will help some of us appreciate these moments more, and in turn help us appreciate further the paintings of Claudia Williams.

Below is but a selection of Claudia’s paintings that we have sold at The Welsh Sale in the last few years.

We are now inviting entries for our forthcoming Welsh Sale auction in September. Should you have work by Claudia Williams or other Welsh paintings or prints for which you would like to receive an emailed valuation, please do contact us.

Opinions are free of course and are given without obligation.

Wales

Ben Rogers Jones BA (Anrh)
HYNAFOLION A CHELF GYMREIG & ARBENIGWR HEN BETHAU’R BYD CHWARAEON

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