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Profile

Nigel Williams

Sculptor & photographer

Nigel WilliamsNigel Williams is a UK-born & -based sculptor and photographer, who has also spent some time living and working near the Rocky Mountains in Western Canada. His workshop, home and library is now in Berkshire (U.K.).

After a professional career to date in computing, automotive design, animation, photography, and multimedia, he is now fully engaged in creating sculpture and imagery.

He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Animation, but is entirely self-taught over many years working with wood & metal, and in photography & image manipulation.

His sculpture work is mostly in sheet metal (copper, brass, steel, aluminium, etc), often re-cycled, and frequently with ‘found’ objects as a basis. His influences and inspiration come from a wide range of sources, including industrial archaeology, heritage transport, modern abstract sculpture, and ethnic mask-making.

His current themes include the creation of beautiful botanical forms from spent armaments, and the “fantastic embellishment” of antique domestic & industrial artefacts. Whilst works in the former can invoke disturbing confrontations with the nature of human conflict, works in the latter often incorporate a good deal of humour and nostalgia. These two themes highlight the truly mixed-up left-brain and right-brain nature of Nigel’s character, leading to constant internal turmoil, but ultimately to the creation of work which appeals to a wide range of people.

"I have always been interested in industrial archaeology and heritage transport. This has led over the years to a mounting realisation and awareness of the massive loss of skills, resources and manufacturing ability which developed in a country that used to be the centre of the entire industrial world. This initial dismay eventually turned into despair (while slowly getting buried under a mountain of appalling-quality goods emanating from the far-east), which spurred me on to respond by creating objects that would bring viewers attention to this loss, through nostalgia, fantasy, humour and fascination - hopefully invoking a universal desire to re-discover, re-learn and re-apply the skills required to design & manufacture the type and quality of goods which I use as the basis of my creations - especially amongst younger people.

My source material usually comes from scrapyards, sales, metal traders and garage clear-outs, and is often in very poor condition when I get it. I spend a lot of time visiting heritage transport events, auto-jumbles and reprieved industrial sites (usually now museums, tended by retired gentlemen who are still very passionate about the older machinery) to look at and learn about the technologies, and acquire source material for my work."

He has exhibited across the U.K., and his work appears in collections from Madrid to New York.

As a photographer, Nigel holds a fascination for detail and patina, and sometimes combines his imagery and sculpture to produce 2D/3D work. His photography has been published in two unusual books: one - “K-scopes” - of kaleidoscopic images painstakingly constructed from details of mostly man-made machinery and architecture; the other - “Pacific Northwest Iron” - of “surfaces” and other images made during travels along the Northwest coast of North America.