Gallery: Max. L Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
Andrea Lauren Williams is in her final semester in the undergraduate BFA ceramics program. Williams was born and raised in Riverside, CA and is a mother with many animals she loves. Art has always been a part of her life in some way or another, as she comes from a very artistic family; she always knew she wanted to pursue an artistic education and career. In her twenties, Williams chose to enter the ceramics program at CSULB even though she has a background in drawing and painting.
The main ideas behind Williams’ show are religiosity, sacrifice of faith, and woman’s body/time. If Williams were to describe her work to someone who had no experience with it, she would say the show is, “religious, but with a twist.” The goal of Sacrifice is not to ridicule religion, but to see it in a light that focuses on the female perspective and examines religion from an outside point of view. In her work, Williams combines contemporary art with religious themes. Although Williams is a Christian, religion has not been a huge part of her life and her beliefs do not have heavy influence on her artwork.
Williams main formal goal is to create textural pieces. The other formal qualities that are most evident in her body of work is the loose, gestural strokes in the material as Williams describes as being “very handmade.” There is also a form of repetition within her body of work, but Williams has made it quite clear that her main formal focus is creating textural pieces. To make all of the pieces in this show took about a week to allow for materials to dry and settle during the process. Although she loves creating these pieces, it is not a walk in the part. Williams admitted to some things about the process of her work that make it difficult for her. As a mother, it is difficult for her to do work at home because some of the materials she works with are toxic; this concerned her during her pregnancy. Between the two materials she uses most, she feels that clay takes a very long time to dry whereas cement is very quick. That may influence why she uses both of these materials; I think that the different drying times allow for different layers with different thickness/hardness the process of creating her pieces.
I find Williams’ line of work to be very consistent. Her work also touches on religion in a more emotional and personal level than most religious artwork I’ve seen. I appreciate that the forms and surfaces of the artwork is imperfect, it reflects the foundation of religion; there is no perfect religion. The height of the pieces in Williams’ show give off an air of importance and demand attention, as most religions do; I find that comparison to be quite powerful. People have critiqued her work as “sacrilegious” and claim she “must hate Jesus”, Williams’ goal is to make people question religion in general with her work. I find myself thinking more about what I believe because of viewing her body of work.