Shawn Williams
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Shawn Williams

Shawn Williams





Cycles, 2021

I have always been fascinated by the human body, especially when in motion, and my work reflects that fact. Focusing on portraiture and gesture, I attempt to understand what I see not just on a surface level, but to decode the traces that history and psychology leave on the body. Despite frequent changes in materials and methods, my underlying motivations remain the same. 

Repetition is a key component of this piece, as with much of my work. Even in normal times, many aspects of our lives are ruled by cycles, which have been disrupted by the last year in quarantine. When removed from our normal routines, it became possible to investigate their shortcomings, and recognize their ritualistic natures. In this piece I’m looking for ways to move forward, to make progress even while returning to the same place. Not in spite of these cycles, but because of them. Animation, when combined with the tactility of traditional mediums, has enabled this exploration. The repetition inherent to creating the work, painting each frame, photographing it, and wiping it away, mirrors the experience I hope to create for the viewer. The mutability of these materials is crucial to conveying the traces change leaves behind, and will help explore the transience of the themes.

My goal is to encourage viewers to imagine others complexly, and be mindful of the patterns of thought and behavior that we all fall into.


Cycles from Shawn Williams on Vimeo.