Vivienne Williams was born in Swansea in 1955. She studied English Literature at Reading University taking a Masters degree in 'The Literary Response to the Visual Arts' in 1978. She spent the next five years abroad, teaching English in Venice and Padua and working in an art gallery in Sydney where she began selling her work for the first time. Returning to the UK in 1983 she spent the next seven years studying and working in a Buddhist community before becoming a full time painter in 1990, returning to Wales at this time.
She has been quietly building a reputation as a significant artist in Wales over the last twenty years and more with regular solo exhibitions in Attic Gallery in Swansea and Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff and more recently in Bristol, Sussex and Dorset. In 2016 she had her first solo exhibition at the Thackeray Gallery, in London. She has exhibited at the London Contemporary Art Fair since 1992 and was a prize-winner at the National Eisteddfod in 1993. She received a highly commended prize at the inaugural Welsh Artist of the Year competition in Cardiff in 2000 and was invited to be on the panel of judges in 2008. Her work was purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for Wales in 2003.
Her work is strongly influenced by her interest in Tibetan Buddhism.
‘I paint pots and bowls, flowers and fruit. Everything in the picture is re-arranged and repainted many times – deciding what to leave in and leave out is a balancing act. The spaces are as significant as the objects themselves. As the layers of paint build, the surface texture is energetically worked, scratched, sanded and stained. At any moment there is an opportunity for a painting to emerge’.
She has been described as ‘a brilliant and contemplative colourist’. In her paintings, ‘there are so many gorgeous things going on compositionally – surfaces, colours, shapes...her work is calm and quiet, giving up its’ secrets gently, rewarding you for a long time’.