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Aubrey Williams obituary, Guardian newspaper

Obituary relating to an individual, 1990
Published by: Guardian
Year published: 1990

image of Aubrey Williams obituary, Guardian newspaper

Substantial obituary on Aubrey Williams, that appeared in the Guardian, Tuesday 1 May 1990. This is an original clipping, though the page number is absent.

The obituary was titled Guyana dreaming in paint - a reference to the book on Williams that was in production at the time of the artist’s death. Written by longtime friend and supporter Anne (spelt as Ann in the obituary) Walmsley, the text began, “Aubrey Williams, the Guyanese painter, died in London on Friday after a long fight against cancer. His energy and seriousness of purpose, his generosity and infectious enthusiasm for life, won him devoted friends on both sides of the Atlantic. His marvellous paintings, worked over almost four decades, have awed and delighted those who have seen them, and continue to enrich the lives of those fortunate or wise enough to own one.”

The obituary proceeded with a biographical outline of Williams’ life, continuing into a discussion of his involvement with the Caribbean Artists Movement, active in London in the 1960s and 70s. “CAM’s development in London coincided with the flourishing of new art forms and language in the Caribbean itself, culminating in Carifesta, the first Caribbean regional festival of the arts in Guyana, in 1972, in all of which Aubrey Williams took a leading part. Increasingly, throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, he worked and exhibited as much in the Caribbean as in London, particularly in Jamaica.”

Anne Walmsley concluded her obituary with a reference to the Guyana Dreaming book. “We had all hoped that this book, to which Aubrey Williams himself gave the title, Guyana Dreaming, would be published as a tribute to his 64th birthday on May 8. Instead it will act as a small memorial to a great man.”

The obituary was embellished by a smaller contribution from Denis Bowen and a short addendum from Wilson Harris. Amongst Bowen’s comments, “Aubrey Williams was one of the most outstanding and individual of the artists who exhibited at the New Vision Centre Gallery in London which I directed from 1956 to 1966.” Amongst Harris’s comments, “Aubrey Williams is a painter I have admired for many years. Some of his most memorable canvases create a bridge from the world of light into a web of sensation akin to music.”

The piece is accompanied by a sizeable photograph of Williams, standing in front of one of his paintings, though no picture credit accompanied the portrait.

Related people

»  Denis Bowen

Born, 1921 in Kimberley, South Africa. Died, 2006

»  Wilson Harris, Sir

Born, 1921 in Guyana

»  Aubrey Williams

Born, 1926 in Georgetown, Guyana. Died, 1990