Evelyn Williams (1929 – 2012)
Lament 2.Then Trouble Came, c.2000s

Oil on canvas

Portraits: What you lookin' at?

Evelyn Williams, Lament 2. Then Trouble

Evelyn Williams is a celebrated British artist whose works is concerned primarily with the subtleties and complexities of human relationships. In this artwork we have not a duet, but an ensemble of characters. 


Painted on a large scale the layering of faces is unsettling. The figures dominate the foreground of the painting, looming towards the view, invading the space between sitter and viewer, undermining some sense of politeness and propriety with regards to personal space. The five woman and one man don’t seem to exist in one single space, and instead have been collaged together to create this dramatic montage of portraits. Each looks in a different direction – the left front figure portrayed in profile, whilst the right front figure confronts the view with her stare. Six hands can be seen, each in slightly different positions suggesting subtle variations in gesture and movement. It is as if this artwork is a study of heads, hands and emotions.