Tilda Williams-Kelly

Biography

Tilda Williams-Kelly is a Scottish visual artist based between Alloa and Glasgow. Her practice involves portrait and figurative oil painting, open to myriad avenues of expression, producing vibrant and impactful images that explore themes of colour, light, environment, and humanity. This humanity begins with the self; what began as a reckoning with the notion that only men can paint, has morphed into an inner search of her own Trinidadian and Irish lineage, and the role of Scottish colonialism as a Scottish artist with this lineage. The focus of Williams-Kelly’s work is to convey the necessity in uplifting one another; she looks to community as sources of inspiration and strength. Pursuits are based in community arts activism, collaboration, and research within socio-political settings such as anti-racism, intersectional feminism, and climate justice. She blends classical oil techniques with contemporary style in both reference and countering with the oil ‘masters’ that first inspired her to pursue an oil portrait practice. In so doing, Williams-Kelly takes this classical method and manipulates it to speak to us in the present; merging their methods with spray painting, mark making, abstraction and imagination -her way of expressing blackness and joy. She skillfully engages storytelling and mythos to address histories of erasure and subjugation often visited on Black bodies. In opposition to this, she chooses to represent the Black figure in compositions that evoke a sense of liberation and inner strength. 

Recent exhibitions include Marcelle, Dunoon Burgh Hall, Dunoon (2023) and The Graduates – A Bold Beginning at Tatha Gallery, Newport on Tay (2022).